Start healthy eating at a young age

By: Lydia Knorr, Registered Dietitian milk

For busy parents, finding easy meals that are also healthy and nutritious can be a challenge. However, as your baby grows into a toddler, it is important that you provide them with proper nutrition through a balanced diet. Take a look at these tips geared at instilling healthy eating habits as you begin introducing solid foods into your toddler’s diet:

Dietary iron should be a priority. Iron is required to make red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the body. It also helps tissues and organs function properly. When introducing your child to cereal, make sure that it is fortified with iron.

Remember vitamin C. When serving iron-rich foods, be sure to include other foods that contain vitamin C such as oranges, tomatoes and broccoli. Not only will vitamin C help to improve the absorption of iron, but it will also help to support the immune system and the development of healthy bones and tissue.

Include dairy. Milk products, with a high fat content are an important source of energy for brain and tissue development. For optimal nutrition, consider milk products that are enriched with key vitamins and nutrients for your toddler’s development such as: omega-3 DHA, vitamins C, A, D, and B6, and with 3.25 per cent or higher fat content. When you are ready to transition your child from breast milk or infant formula, consider a transitional milk product to help ensure the best introduction to the world of dairy.

Visit the Toddler Menu Planner at for weekly and monthly meal plan ideas that will help you integrate these foods into a balanced diet to promote healthy eating habits for your growing toddler.

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