Babies and Toddlers: Nutrition

Overview

Providing adequate nutrition is an important part of caring for babies and toddlers. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their infants to provide optimal nutrition and important immune factors. If needed, guidelines are available to make bottle-feeding successful.

Balanced nutrition includes a variety of factors, including diet, exercise and mealtime management. Government organizations provide guidelines for the appropriate amount of grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein for children. Parents should strive to provide structure and set limits for toddlers during mealtimes. As much as possible, parents should use mealtimes to encourage social interaction and demonstrate healthy eating behaviors.

Although toddlers tend to be picky, it’s important to encourage them to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Children may be more cooperative if they participate in the selection and preparation of their meals.

Health care providers can give additional guidance regarding nutrition for babies and toddlers.

Basics