I have a 1 year old daughter. What are her most important nutritional considerations?
Toddlers begin to take on their own unique personality and to exert their independence by moving around freely and choosing foods to eat. Although the child is still growing, the rate of growth is slower than in the first 12 months of life. At the end of the third year of age, girls and boys will have achieved about 50 per cent of their adult height.
During this period a child learns how to drink through a straw and from a cup and eat with a spoon, and frequently they become "fussy" eaters. Providing a variety of foods will allow the child to choose from a range of foods with differing tastes, textures, and colours to help satisfy their small appetites. The most important factor is to meet energy needs with a wide variety of foods.
Food intake will be influenced increasingly by family eating patterns and peers. Early food experiences may have important effects on food likes and dislikes and eating patterns in later life. Meal times should not be rushed and a relaxed approach to feeding will pave the way for healthy attitudes to food.