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A Nutritional Balancing Act

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If your family is vegetarian, you need to be extra careful to serve balanced meals. Toddlers need lots of nutrients for their busy, growing bodies, and unless you take special precautions, your child may not get enough of the following:

  • Minerals
  • B vitamins
  • Iron
  • Calcium (in the case of a vegan diet)

Egg yolks and dark green vegetables are good sources of iron, and whole grains offer B vitamins. Also, children need much more fat in their diet — 30 to 50 percent of their total calories — than older children and adults do. To make sure your child is getting everything he needs, you might want to consult a nutritionist. Your health care provider can probably suggest one.

Learn more about feeding your toddler a healthful vegetarian diet.

Helpful Hint: Make a toddler-friendly trail mix bag with cereal bits, unsalted bagel chips, raisin, and pieces of dried fruit. Don't include nuts, as they're a choking hazard (raisins are okay because they're softer and dissolve more easily). And always have your child sit while he's eating, even when you're on the go.

Get more on the art of feeding your child from Dr. Suzanne Dixon.


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