Toddler food

Your toddlers diet of fish fingers or jam sandwiches may seem unhealthy, but she could be getting far more nutrients than you realise.

If your child is going through a phase of only eating baked beans and burgers, try not to worry too much – while a healthy diet containing a lot of fresh fruit and vegies is ideal, lots of unlikely snack foods contain vitamins and minerals, so all is not lost.

Fun food facts

  • Tomato sauce contains a nutrient called lycopene, which recent studies show can help prevent cancer and heart disease. But use sauce sparingly it's also loaded with sugar and salt.

  • Fish fingers are packed with iron and protein (vital to your toddler's growth), but make sure you use good quality brands.

  • Vegemite – this popular spread contains lots of healthy B vitamins and folic acid, but do keep it to a tiny scrape, as it's full of salt.

  • Ice cream – like all dairy products, ice cream contains a lot of calcium and B vitamins, both essential to your child's diet. It also contains a lot of fat and sugar, so keep it as an occasional treat.

  • Burgers, grilled rather than fried, and served with a soft roll and salad, make a healthy, iron-packed meal for little ones, as long as the burgers are 100% meat.

  • Chips – a few chunky homemade chips with the skins left on contain a lot of vitamin C and will add useful carbohydrate and calories to a fussy toddler's diet.

  • Baked beans – these are a good source of protein and iron, but also contain a lot of sugar and salt. Always choose reduced sugar and salt varieties for children.