1. How much carbohydrate does my toddler need each day?
Your child is developing quickly and needs a well balanced diet to provide the energy to be a healthy active toddler. Serve starchy carbohydrates with all meals and snacks. These can be as bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, pasta, rice, or couscous. At this stage it is best to offer a mixture of food types - for example offer wholemeal, granary, pita and white bread on different days.
2. How important is fibre to my toddler's diet?
Fibre is important in your baby's diet, but you should not need to supplement a normal, healthy diet with additional added fibre. Most of the fibre in a toddler's diet will come from grains, fruits, vegetables. If your child seems constipated, you should check that they are drinking enough fluid and seek advice from your doctor or paediatrician before attempting to rectify the problem through other dietary changes.
3. Do I need to mash or chop all my toddler's foods?
There are some foods which present choking hazards for toddlers, including whole grapes, whole cherry tomatoes and whole nuts. The consumption of these should be closely monitored. Other than these foods, you may be surprised at the variety of foods your child can cope with from a relatively young age, when some teeth have developed, (usually around 9-12 months). By 12-18 months, your child will certainly want to be trying more challenging foods than just mashes and purées, although will still enjoy smoothies and soups as part of a balanced diet.