Nutrition Needs for Toddlers

From around 12 months of age (i.e. toddlers), children are ready to move on from mashed and small, chopped pieces of food. For optimal nutrition, they should start their journey toward eating a wider variety of food, preferably in line with food the rest of the family is eating.

Care is needed during the transition from food prepared during the first year to food prepared for toddlers, because they need food that is suitable in texture, but which does not pose a choking risk. Hard pieces of some raw vegetables and nuts are examples of high choking risk food, but nut butters are great. Additionally, a variety of tastes and textures should be offered, the more the better.

As with all foods, some food and vegetables may need to be offered multiple times (>10 times) before being accepted. This is not fussy eating, but rather a toddler’s way of getting used to new things, a little at a time. Fresh fruit should be prioritised (canned is also good) rather than fruit juice, because fruit is a great source of fibre and other nutrients like Vitamin C.

This information is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines