Toddler nutrition, the growing gourmet!

Once kids reach their first year they should be able to eat more or less like their parents.
Nowadays adults are often making a”kid” dinner and something different for them. Why not trying to all eat together the same food ?
Why are adults so scared of feeding their kids beautiful homemade meals, giving them plain pasta or sandwiches instead ?
I hope this article will change your mind on toddler nutrition, it can save you time, money,  guilt and give you healthy little child that have more chance to become healthy adults later in life.

Nutritional needs from 2 to 5 years of age

The calorie intake will grow with your child from 1000-1400 calories for a 2-3 years old to 1200-1600 for 4-5 years old. keep in mind a small slice of banana bread with no real nutritional value is already around 300 calories!

Their taste for food will keep on developing and it is when nutrition education plays an important role for future behaviour.

The family is quite often the role model and eating healthy nutritious meals should be part of the family routine.

(Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Moe, G., Beshgetoor, D. & Berning, J. (2013). PP.635-638)

From early childhood to teenage hood the child will keep on growing and adding weight.

Between 4 and 7 years of age a close look at the growth chart could show potential obesity in the future.

A high % of American kids will show a BMI over 30 at 5 years of age.

Children have to eat a minimum of Calcium a day to meet their daily recommendation as it is during this period they store calcium for later in life. If supplements are given the dosage will be calculated as per Clark’s rule: weight in kg/60 x Adult dose. this dose would be prescribed only to children with no hepatic or renal conditions. (Jamison, J. (2003). P.114)

Nutrient deficiencies are rare but veganism, vegetarian diet or undernutrition could cause deficiency in iron, calcium, vitamins A and D and vitamin C.

My child does not want to eat…

As long as your child is growing accordingly to its charts do not force feed. It is proved that parents have tendency of overfeeding their children and it leads to obesity.

There are many reasons why children may not eat. Often, the children:

• Are distracted
• Have other things to do
• Too tired
• Feeling harassed by their parents
• Are asserting their independence
• Simply not hungry

Keep in mind that as parents you are the one deciding on the food and the time while the child decides if and how much food he will eat.
If a kid does not want to eat something, do not force and offer the same food few days later. Do not offer something else and do not accept your child eating between meals.
Meals are not a battle but a enjoyable family time.
(Marks, K. (2015). pp.886-889.)
It takes up to 15 times for the taste buds to discover a new taste and when good habits are given early it is easier later.

Simple lunch box

It is during that period from 4 to 13 that the child is learning the most with an incredible memory ability.

Vital organs keep on growing, muscle and skeleton system needs support, the brain is developing, the immune system is building and it is essential to make energy saving for physical activities.

The alimentation has to be varied and giving the essential nutrient needed for healthy growth.

(Dr Fricker, J., Dartoix, A.M. and du Fraysseix, M. (1998). PP. 467-468)



A preschooler will suffer from at least 6 different colds a year, it is essential for good development and immune system build. (Raising Children Network, 2011).

More than 200 different viruses can cause common cold, it will usually clear up after 7 to 10 days. But sometimes it can lead to bronchitis, middle ear infection or sinus infection.

Vitamin C and Zinc are good combination to boost immune system and reduce the effects of common cold.

(Balch, P.A. (2010).P.342)

The lunch box should be packed with essential nutrients to support a good body and brain development. The ideal combination of grain or starch with vegetables, protein, a little fat and one dairy product is giving the best chances to your kids to develop to its fullest. Fish at least twice a week and fruits for snack.

The other essential factors that could impact negatively on food intake are posture (the kid should be seated with a straight back), cutlery (it helps with motor skills), environment (no screen or play) and time (it takes a good 20 minutes for a child to at a proper meal).


Meditative note

Life is stressful enough , having a strict family routine is easing some of it. Breakfast, lunch, 4 PM snack and dinner should be given more or less at the same time everyday, it helps structuring the day and we do not need more food!

Water is necessary all day long but food only every 3 to 4 hours in order to give a rest to the pancreas, liver, kidneys and digestive system in general.

Those habits as well as an educated palate will follow your child during his life, shaping good healthy habits as an adult. Cooking is fun and should not been seen as a chore, it brings joy and health. Learn few family recipes and why not make a book for your kid to carry later in life.

And why not eating better yourself through giving good habits to your child? No salt and refined sugar, no package food, less toxins is good for everybody in the family.


Look after yourselves, eat well and be happy.

By Happy2feed





Balch, P.A. (2010). Prescription for nutritional healing, Fifth edition. USA. Penguin group.

Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Moe, G., Beshgetoor, D. & Berning, J. (2013). Wardlaw’s perspectives in nutrition. Ninth edition. McGraw-Hill.

NY.Dr Fricker, J., Dartoix, A.M. and du Fraysseix, M. (1998). Guide de l’alimentation de l’enfant, de la conception a l’adolescence. Alimentation guide from conception to teenagehood. Paris. France. EDITIONS ODILE JACOB

Jamison, J. (2003). Clinical guide to nutrition and dietary supplements in disease management. Australia. Churchill Livingston.

Marks, K. (2015). Infant and toddler nutrition. 44(12) Australia.

Mehta, H., Groetch, M., & Wang, J. (2013). Growth and Nutritional Concerns in Children with Food Allergy.

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 13(3), 275–279.

Osiecki, H. ( 2014). The nutrient bible. Australia. 9TH edition.

Raising children (2011) retrieved from, S. (2014). retrieved from website British Nutrition foundation.

Whitney, E.N., Rolfes, S.R., Crowe, T., Cameron-Smith, D., & Walsh, A. (2014).Understanding Nutrition: Australian And New Zealand Edition. Cengage Learning Australia.

elemental calcium plus other min-

Byrd-BDrredbenner, C., Moe, G., Beshgetoor, D. & Berning, J. (2013). Wardlaw’s perspectives in nutrition. Ninth edition. McGraw-Hill. NY.

Programme national nutrition sante. (2005). Manger c’est la santé. Health comes through eating.



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