May 23, 2010

Toddler Nutrition

My kids are the exact opposites of each other.  Will is a light hair, darker skinned easy going kid who loves to eat (and I mean EAT, anything I put in front of him he will go for).  Emily on the other hand has dark hair, pale skin, and is the definition of high maintenance.  She is such a picky eater, although, loves healthy food such as broccoli and grilled chicken.  Yesterday I could hardly get more than two bites down her.  And since I refuse to be a short order chef, she went to bed a little hungry and subsequently woke up earlier than normal today ready for cereal (two bowls) and sausage (5 links, she ate all hers, mine and Andy's) and one egg.  Whoa, is that almost all yesterdays calories in one meal?

That got me wondering today about toddler age nutrition requirements and what that would mean for her everyday meals.  So the breakdown is 40 calories per day for each inch in height. Well here is the math for my kiddo- 40 x 35 inches= 1400 calories per day. 

So what does that really mean when it comes to food? 
2-3 servings dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
4 servings fruit and vegetables
4 servings bread or cereal
2 servings protein (meat, eggs, tofu, peanut butter)

I don't know about you but I have wondered before- "What is a kids serving size?"  Not the same as an adults serving size!  It is about 1 tablespoon per year for fruit and vegetables and for meat and bread about 1/3 the serving size of adults. 

At the end of the day, a toddler will eat what they end up eating.  There is no forcing them, but guiding them in the right direction.  Healthy eating starts now, we teach them about what to eat at this age, so feed them well, feed them healthy and hope it continues for their lifetime!


  1. Thanks I really need to read this.

  2. I agree...all three of my children are different, but atlteast they like their fruits and vegatables!! Thanks for the important info!

  3. I have had this concern off and on for all Elyse life. It wasn't until recently that her doctor finally said she needed to weigh more. But I have learned that quality is so much better than quantity.

  4. Thanks for posting this! I don't think my guy is eating that many calories!



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