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Foods That Support Toddler Growth

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As a parent, you are wont to closely monitor your children’s growth. Alongside the immunization chart, the growth chart is something that you regularly consult. It’s very important to ensure that they’re thriving, which means that their growth should be on track.

Your children’s final height will be mainly dictated by genetics, but you can do something to make sure that they achieve their growth potential. It’s also true that poor choices in nutrition could also delay and stunt their growth, so you need to be proactive in feeding them children growth foods.

Toddler Nutritional Requirements for Growth

There are particular nutrients that have been specified as paramount to toddler growth and development. These are:

1.      Protein

According to nutrition experts, children who don’t consume enough dietary protein may not grow to their full potential. Those aged 1 to 3 should get about 13 grams of protein per day, so you should give your toddler high-protein foods like meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Milk, in particular, is necessary for the growth and development of babies and toddlers, hence its key role in their diet. Milk consumption is reported to increase leg bone length in boys and is linked with increased growth factor similar to insulin in children. It is recommended that kids consume 2 to 3 cups of milk or equivalent dairy daily.

2.      Vitamins and Minerals

All micronutrients are essential to your children’s development, but some are particularly key in accelerating growth. These are iron, zinc, and vitamin A. You can find plenty of iron and zinc in red meat, dark chicken meat, seafood, cereals, and legumes. Meanwhile, vitamin A is abundant in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, mangoes, and melons.

3.      Calories

It’s not just about the nutrients; it’s also about the calories, which your children require for growth. Toddlers should get about 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day, even more if your child is especially active. Generally, boys need more calories than girls.

Good Foods for Growth

Toddlers grow fast and they need to be fed right to fuel all that growth. The following are some of the top food picks for their diet.

1.      Berries

There are so many different kinds out there, and they are all generally rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, as well as phytochemicals. Not only do they support growth, but they also keep cells healthy and boost the immune system.

2.      Broccoli

This is rich in nutrients that help eye development as well as protect from cell damage. It also has lots of fiber to aid in regular bowel movement.

3.      Colorful fruits and vegetables

The yellows, oranges, and reds often have vitamin A, which is good for the skin, vision, growth, and repair of body tissue.

4.      Dairy

Milk, cheese, and yogurt are the usual dairy fare in a toddler’s diet, and rightly so because they are rich in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, nutrients that are great at bone- and muscle-building.

5.      Eggs

These are known for protein and vitamins, but they also have choline, which is essential for brain development.

6.      Fish

Packed with protein, consuming fish helps your children build bones and muscles. Fatty fish also have omega-3 oils, which are essential to eye, brain, and nerve development.

7.      Grains

Make sure you get whole grains so all the nutrients are intact. Not only do they offer vitamins and minerals, but grains also have plenty of fiber for promoting digestive health and regular waste elimination.

8.      Meat

All kinds of meat have plenty of protein and iron, which optimize development and function of the brain as well as strengthen the immune system.

9.      Peanut butter

This is abundant in monosaturated fats that give children energy and protein. It’s better to choose natural peanut butter for your kids. Make sure that you check the ingredients for the usual culprits that diminish its nutritional quality, such as sugar and partially hydrogenated fats.

Growing in Stride

Your concern for your children’s growth shouldn’t lead you to constantly fret if there are no obvious issues. Just do your part in providing sufficient nourishment and your kids should grow accordingly.

About Louisa Hoffman

Louisa Hoffman

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