Getting the right nutrition during the toddler years can really influence your little one’s brain development - not just now, but for their whole life. And with our easy to follow articles on toddler nutrition, recommended portion sizes, tips for fussy eaters and our handy toddler food pyramid, toddler nutrition can be a doddle!
Toddler – Cheesy Egg Tortilla with chickpea and tomato salad
“Quick, easy and open to adding your own favourite extras.”
– Roberta McCarthy, Clinical Specialist Dietician, Dublin
This tasty vegetarian dish is packed with Iron which is important for your toddler’s brain development.
Foods to avoid and limit for toddlers
In the First 1000 Days, you have the opportunity to make healthy choices for your toddler which will improve their eating habits and health for life. Although they may be growing fast and becoming little people, remember they are not mini adults! So there are still some foods that you should limit in their diet.
How to get enough Iron into your toddler’s diet
Iron plays a vital role in healthy brain development — that’s right ensuring your toddler gets just 8mg a day of Iron (RDA for toddlers) could help them develop to their full potential as teenagers and adults.
Toddler – Pitta Pizza
“A great dish to get the kids involved with the meal when they are big enough to add their own toppings”
– Michelle Skelly, Clinical Dietician, Laois
Who would have thought a pizza could be both tasty and nutritious! This is a great finger food for toddlers.
Toddler – Sun dried Tomato Frittata
“This is so easy to make and serve and a great way to include well cooked egg which is a cheap, nourishing food for everyone. The natural sweetness of the tomato combined with the savoury herbs and cheese make it a choice that ’s full of natural goodness for your toddler to enjoy”.
– Ruth Charles, Paediatric Dietitian, Westmeath
A twist on your average egg dish, packed with vitamin D and Calcium which are important for your toddler’s rapidly growing bones.
Baby – Chicken & Vegetable Soup with Barley
“One of the very first soups I cooked with my mother Vera. This is full of goodness and nutrition and, as they say in Cavan, there is eating and drinking in it! I make it for the twins but I replace the barley with Orzo which is a rice shaped pasta and they love it.”
Neven Maguire, Chef and Father
Tip! Once your baby is taking soft finger foods you can cut up small soldiers of brown bread for them to eat with their soup.
Preventing Vitamin D deficiency
In the First 1,000 days getting enough vitamin D into your little ones diet is difficult but really important.
In the first 1000 days, nutrition affects your child’s brain development forever.
Toddler – Ragu Sauce
“This recipe is the the real McCoy and definitely doesn’t use any of those readymade pasta sauces. It’s just so versatile, soft and tender that it is worth the two hours cooking time – trust me it’s worth it!”
– Neven Maguire, Chef and Father
This dish is a perfect stand-by for converting into dishes such as moussaka, cannelloni, chilli con carne, lasagne, cottage pie and as a filling for pancakes and jacket potatoes.
Toddler – Chicken and Vegetable Risotto
“This creamy, nourishing risotto goes down a treat with my own children”
– Niamh Brannelly, Dietitian, Danone Baby Nutrition
You can add variety to this recipe by swapping chicken with fish such as salmon or cod.