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From our blog.

Is Your Toddler Getting Enough? Check here.

AMY GARDNER / March 7, 2011

Many parents worry that their picky toddler isn’t getting enough nutrition.  It may be reassuring to know that it doesn’t take a whole lot of food for your little one to get his or her needs met.  The average toddler age 1-3 needs around 1300 calories, varying with size and activity level.  The following provides all the calories and essential amounts of other nutrients your finicky eater needs in a day:

12 oz whole milk
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 cup cheerios
1/2 cup canned pears
1 cup grapes
4 chicken nuggets
6oz whole yogurt
1/2 cup peas
1TBSP olive oil
6 medium wheat crackers

Surprisingly, this small amount of food provides one and a half times the recommended calcium and almost two times the vitamin C.  This doesn’t mean you’re let off the hook entirely and should just succomb to your child’s preferences.  You definitely want to expose kids to a variety of foods to help encourage exploration and to lay the ground work for healthy eating habits down the road.  However, you can rest assured during those days when you’re toddler’s appetite wanes or he refuses anything with color, chances are he is still getting his basic nutrition needs. 

Here is a great chart with the nutritional recommendations for children at different ages BCM Daily Values for Children.