Friday, 19 July 2013

Nutrition for toddlers - vitamins and minerals

A common worry of new parents - especially those of toddlers who can be very fussy! - is if their baby is getting enough nutrition from their food. My particular concern is calcium, because our toddler reacts to milk, so we don't give him cow's milk in his bottle (although he's not dairy free, he gets a lot of yogurt and kefir and a bit of cheese). I'm not too bothered about not giving him milk, because i don't believe it to be particularly good for humans (it's designed for baby cows, after all!). Save Our Bones - why milk is bad for your bones has some really interesting information about dairy and it's effect on our bone calcium levels, and links to studies done.

What i really wanted was to find out how much of his recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals we are actually giving him in his favourite meals. That way if we are lacking in any, i can find some foods which are high in that particular item and add that in to his diet.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 209 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 
128
Calories from Fat 
66
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
7.3g
11%
Saturated Fat 
3.1g
15%
Cholesterol 
38mg
13%
Sodium 
379mg
16%
Total Carbohydrates 
4.6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 
1.5g
6%
Sugars 
1.4g
Protein 
12.3g
Vitamin A 8%Vitamin C 76%
Calcium 11%Iron 3%
Nutrition Grade B-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Calorie Counter is the only free website I could find that did exactly what I wanted, which is that it works out the nutritional information of a recipe that I paste into the waiting box. No laboriously adding the ingredients one by one, just paste and a click of the button and it gives you the calorie, protein, fat, carb counts and the vitamin and mineral amounts (as a percentage of the American DV). It does have its limitations in that it only includes the most common vitamins/minerals, but I'm mostly interested in those at this stage.

Obviously children's nutrient requirements are different to those of an adult, so i'll be converting them from the DV to an RDI for an adult using information on Wikipedia, then comparing this to the 1-3 year olds' RDI and back to a toddler's DV.

For 1-3 year olds in Australia:
Vitamin A
300 µg
Calcium
500 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
0.5 mg
Chromium
11 µg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
0.5 mg
Copper
0.7 mg
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
6 mg
Fluoride
0.7 mg
Vitamin B6
0.5 mg
Iodine
90 µg
Vitamin B12
0.9 µg
Iron
9 mg
Folate
150 µg
Magnesium
80 mg
Pantothenic Acid
3.5 mg
Manganese
2.0 mg
Biotin
8 µg
Molybdenum
17 µg
Choline
200 mg
Phosphorus
460 mg
Vitamin C
35 mg
Potassium
2,000 mg
Vitamin D
5.0 µg
Selenium
25 µg
Vitamin E
5 mg
Sodium
200-400 mg
Vitamin K
25 µg
Zinc 3 mg





Our first recipe in the Nutrition for Toddlers series will be Broccoli, Cheese and Salmon soup, coming up soon!