Else Global Director, Medical & Scientific Affairs
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The first couple of years in a child’s life is a period of rapid growth and development, with many changes in eating and diet recommendations. While during the first year your baby's diet relies mostly on breast milk or infant formula (if breast milk is not an option), by the time they celebrate their 1st birthday, they should be eating a variety of foods from the family’s diet. At this age, they are still growing (even though the rate of growth slows) and good nutrition that meets their nutritional needs continues to play important role in growth and development.
This is a good time to add in a toddler drink, designed to help balance a toddler’s diet and support growth and development from ages 12 to 36 months. Some parents choose whole milk and others Plant-Based drinks; however, those options do not necessary provide all of the nutrition they need. Toddler formulas provide good amounts of protein, calories, vitamins and important minerals like iron.
How to know whether your child has eaten enough?
One of our biggest concerns as parents is knowing whether your baby has eaten enough. At this age, toddlers develop their own personality and show first signs of independence, many times expressing it when eating. They may be less interested in eating than before, and sometimes they will take only a few bites of food, or may eat a lot at breakfast and very little during the day. Other times, the food on their plate ends up everywhere, except in their digestive systems. Keep in mind that they are still weaning off breast milk/ formula and introducing common foods from the family’s diet. During such a transition, these toddlers are vulnerable to nutrient inadequacy. Missing nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D may result in an inadequate diet.
This is where a toddler formula can make a difference. Although it’s true that the toddler formula will no longer be the child’s primary nutrition source (as they are already eating a variety of foods), 1-2 servings per day will supplement their nutrition with essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Food intolerances and allergy prevalence (mainly to cow’s milk and soy) have been rising in recent years, as is the prevalence of parental choice for vegan/Plant-Based lifestyles. Families worldwide have increased their interest in extending their own vegan/Plant-Based diet preferences to their babies and children.
Well-planned vegan diets, based on a wide variety of plant foods like grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and vegetable oils, can provide adequate nutrition throughout all stages of life, including infancy and childhood.
Some nutrients are more critical, yet not adequately provided by the variety of the foods our little ones consume. Some of these critical nutrients include protein, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamin D.
These nutrients can be supplied by a variety of foods in your toddler’s menu, and can also be filled with daily consumption of 1-2 servings of Plant-based toddler formula such as Else Toddler Plant-Based complete nutrition drink. It provides high-quality protein and 20+ vitamins and minerals – all of this, along with lower levels of sugar than traditional formulas/ plant-based kinds of milk.
One serving of Else Toddler is a good source for energy and nutrition, providing unsaturated fats, 5 grams of high-quality protein, and a balanced amino acid composition sourced from 2 main core whole food ingredients: almonds and buckwheat.
The content and advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment, advice for specific medical conditions. Always consult a pediatrician to understand the individual needs of your child.