How Can Toddler Nutritional Drinks Be Used as Part of a Healthy Diet?
The gradual introduction of nutritious and appropriate foods and drinks—a practice referred to as complementary feeding—plays a crucial role in a child’s continued physical and mental development.
Between one and two years of age (12-24 months), young children are transitioning to the family diet. This critical period for young children’s growth and development results in special nutritional needs to ensure recommended levels of iron, zinc, vitamin D, potassium, choline, calcium and essential fatty acids are being met.
During this period of transition, some parents and caregivers may find it difficult to provide a completely balanced diet with family foods that can meet the nutrition requirements for their young children. Both nutrient inadequacies and excesses may be of concern as the child may be consuming less breast milk and/or infant formula.
Toddler nutritional drinks are fortified to provide more of certain nutrients, such as iron, compared to regular dairy products and are a practical alternative for busy families or toddlers who are not consuming recommended levels of nutrients that support healthy growth and development.
While nutrient needs may be met with a healthy and balanced family diet, toddler nutritional drinks can enhance the toddler diet by providing additional nutrients, reducing nutritional gaps and supporting healthy growth and development, while complementing a family-food based diet.