Vegetarian Toddler

If you’re bringing up your toddler in a vegetarian family, or your child refuses to eat meat, this is not at all unhealthy so long as parents take care to make sure that all the appropriate nutrients are met.

Calorie consumption is important for ensuring your toddler has enough fuel for all that energy.

Iron

Iron can be found in many vegetarian friendly sources. Kidney beans, lima beans, green beans, spinach and egg yolks are all excellent sources of iron. However, unlike iron derived from animal sources, iron from vegetables can be hard for your body to absorb properly.  Serving a vitamin C rich food with those beans or spinach can make the iron easier for your toddler to absorb. Some great sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, oranges, broccoli and red peppers. Ensure the child is getting enough iron by giving fortified breakfast cereals, bread, green vegetables and dried fruit. The vitamin C in a glass of diluted fruit juice drunk with a meal will help them absorb iron more easily.

Supplements

Most toddlers do not need supplements. A healthy, balanced diet is the best way to provide the nourishment your child requires. Some children, however, might need extra vitamins and minerals, such as toddlers following a vegan diet, who might need vitamin B12. If you are concerned your child might need supplements ask your health professional.