Nutrition for toddlers

12-24 Months

Introduction of other drinks

After the child turns one, drinks other than breast milk, formula or water can be introduced. This can include cows’ milk, toddler nutritional supplements or diluted juice.

Find out more at: Nutrition Australia.

What is a toddler nutritional supplement?

Toddler nutritional supplements are specially formulated for toddlers from the age of one year for when their diet is inadequate. They are cows’ milk based and contain essential vitamins and minerals for growth and development.

Find out more at: NHMRC Pdf (1)

Role of toddler nutritional supplements

Toddler nutritional supplement drinks are scientifically formulated for toddlers from the age of one year. They are supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals for growth and development, for when dietary intake is inadequate.

Find out more at: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for ANZ.

When can a formula-fed toddler move to cows' milk?

From 1 year of age, toddlers can begin drinking cows’ milk. It is recommended that this be full fat milk, and that low fat or skim milks are avoided before the age of two years old.

500mL per day

Find out more at: Parenting & Child Health.

Rapid growth during the toddler years

A toddler grows more in the first three years of life than they will at any other time in their life. Their stomach though is still very small, limiting the volume of food they can consume. This is why a diet of highly nutritious food and a meal pattern involving small, frequent meals are so important for toddlers.

Main nutrient gaps in a toddler's diet

In Australia and New Zealand there is a prevalence of vitamin D, iodine, selenium and iron deficiency in toddlers. All of these are important for growth and development.

Find out more at: ANZ Nutrient Reference Values.

Toddler diets

It is important that toddlers receive a variety of foods from the four main food groups:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Breads and cereals
  • Meat, fish, poultry, egg, beans and other alternatives
  • Milks, yoghurts, cheeses and/or alternatives

Find out more at: NHMRC Pdf (1)

Long Chain Omega 3 fatty acids for toddlers

Long Chain Omega 3 fats, such as docosaxhexanoic acid (DHA), are important for brain and eye development. They are predominantly found in oily fish such as mackerel, herrings, sardines, salmon and tuna. They are also added in some toddler nutritional supplement drinks.

40mg per day

Find out more at: Omega 3 Centre.

Iron for toddlers

Iron is important for brain development in toddlers. Low iron in toddlers can have an impact on learning and behaviours and can cause the toddler to become very tired.

9mg per day

Find out more at: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for ANZ.

Immunity during day care

Having a child get sick and miss day care is a reality for working mums. Providing good nutrition to support their immune system will help minimise the number of days off sick from day care.

What are the best sources of calcium for toddlers?

Calcium is important for bone development in toddlers. The best sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk (cows' milk or toddler nutritional supplements), cheese and yoghurt

500mg per day

Find out more at: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for ANZ.