Black Rock Publications

Food After the First Year

Vitamin Guidelines:

400-600 IU per day of Vitamin D
1 glass of milk has about 125 IU
Some yogurt is fortified with Vitamin D
Many children will need a supplement to achieve the guideline amounts

700-1000 mg of Calcium
1 glass of milk has about 300 mg
1 oz of cheese has 200 mg

Kid Food Facts:

A serving size of food is about equal to age in bites or spoonfuls

Many children may not eat a lot of vegetables, but if they eat a variety of fruits, they still get most of the same vitamins. You can try to sneak some veggies into foods by mixing in a jar of baby food veggies into things. Tomato sauce can hide a jar of baby carrots or baby peas well. The baby food is very bland so can be easy to hide! Also, there are fruit/veggie combinations available in foil packs ("Crushers" at Trader Joe's, or some by Organic Baby for example) - Apple-Carrot and Mango-Spinach are going over well, I am told.

Toddlers don't need to get the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of every food on every day. We know that kids go through true phases and can be quite picky! We consider nutrition in toddlers over weeks (not days!) for getting enough of what they need. If you really think that your child is not getting entire nutritional groups, then you can do a multi-vitamin.

Remember that the form of the nutrient does not really matter. If your child only likes mac and cheese or grilled cheese or pizza or cereal with milk - all of those are just different forms of starch + dairy. It doesn't really matter which form they get as it is all the same nutrients! Do your best to make your child's version as healthy as possible but then relax about it.

Other tips and guidelines:

Meals plus healthy snacks- Guideline is 3 meals with additional healthy snacks between those. Many children are "grazers"- Grazing, or eating small amounts more frequently, is actually a very healthy way to eat. Just be sure that you offer healthy options for grazing.

Some parents serve water with meals and milk between meals, while others serve milk with the three meals and water between. It is a matter of preference and does not really matter as long as your child gets the vitamin D and the calcium.

Milk out of a cup- Do not worry if he/she does not drink as much milk out of the cup as he/she drank from the bottle. Milk, while good for kids, is not as complete nutritionally as breast milk/formula, so do not worry about the decrease in amounts. Approximately 16 ounces of dairy is typical- 2 to 3 cups of milk per day or some combination of milk plus yogurt plus cheese. Kids usually have a lot of dairy overall in their diets. As your child is able, switch over to a straw cup instead of a sippy cup for travel- during the range of 1 year to 2 years of age. The sippy cup promotes a tongue thrust which can be detrimental for speech and teeth.

Choking foods- include anything that could get into blocking an airway and which would not dissolve or melt in the airway. Be particularly aware of foods like hot dogs, sausage, sucking candies/gum, grapes, popcorn, melon balls, and carrots. For those foods that are appropriate for your child, just be sure to break or cut the food into small pieces. Be particularly aware at parties/summer picnics, where there are a lot of finger foods and kids are jumping around or running around while eating.


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