Why active play is so important for toddlers
Your toddler will become more physically able by the day. Whether it’s learning to kick a ball, holding a crayon to scribble, or eating with a fork and spoon, movement becomes more focused and accurate. After the age of two, you’ll be able to tell whether your toddler is right- or left-handed – watch which hand they use to reach for a cup or which foot they use to kick that ball. Before you know it, running becomes climbing and negotiating play area equipment, and scribbling becomes painting, drawing and modelling. You can help your toddler by playing with them outside as often as possible, running around and encouraging messy play with clay, paints, sand and water – even soil!
Between two and three, your toddler will become aware of having a wet or dirty nappy, bladder control, and realise that the toilet can be used for something other than dropping toys into. This awareness means that they may be ready to try potty training, so give it a go.
With all this activity and learning going on, it’s important that toddlers have a varied, balanced diet. It’s recommended that toddlers have three meals, and two to three healthy snacks daily: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, tea and maybe a pre-bedtime snack.
There are a range of nutrients that are important for your toddler, including iron, calcium and vitamin D. Sources of iron include lean red meat, eggs, oily fish, green leafy vegetables and beans. Beef stews, lamb casseroles, thin slices of chicken or pork, scrambled eggs on toast and baked beans are tasty ways to give your toddler iron.
Whole milk, growing up milk, cheese, yogurt and dairy desserts are sources of calcium. Calcium requires an adequate intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D is naturally synthesised by our bodies from sunlight on skin. It is also found in oily fish, eggs and fortified foods, such as some breakfast cereals. But, with the UK’s temperamental sunny weather, the Department of Health recommends that toddlers aged between one and four take a supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day, unless they’re drinking 500ml of formula a day.
Aptamil Growing Up milks are enriched with iron to support normal cognitive development, vitamin D and calcium for normal bone development and iodine which contributes to the normal growth of children, as part of a varied, balanced diet.
You may notice your previously confident, chatty, independent toddler becoming clingy and less talkative. A confident walker may want to be carried, or a potty-trained toddler may start wetting themselves. This is a normal phase known as regression – it may be a reaction to the astonishing amount of learning they’re doing, or a more obvious change - moving home or the arrival of a sibling.
Regression is a toddler’s way of asking for more comfort and attention. Acknowledge their feelings and ask questions to find out what is worrying them or causing their behaviour to change. Create some one-to-one time so you can give your toddler lots of extra-special attention and cuddles and help get them back on track again
Aptamil Growing Up milks are tailored to your toddler’s stage of development as part of a varied, balanced diet.
Aptamil with Pronutra+ Growing Up milk 2-3 years contains a unique blend of ingredients nutritionally tailored for your toddler, including iron to support normal cognitive development. It also contains DHA and EPA (omega 3 fatty acids). Vitamin D and calcium are also included for normal bone development. Aptamil with Pronutra+ Growing Up milk 2-3 years comes in a range of formats from powder to ready-to-drink Growing Up milk, including a resealable one-litre pack and a handy 200ml carton for when you are out and about.
Source: The Huffington Post UK
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