Does fat help your child’s brain develop? What’s the big deal about DHA? Do toddlers need iron — and what about vitamin supplements? Those answers and more.

There are so many important questions a mom has about feeding their toddler. Few are mentioned below.

Q: What's fat got to do with my toddler's brain development?

A: Believe it or not, your toddler's brain is more than 60% fat. The polyunsaturated fats from the foods you eat provide your body with fatty acids like DHA and ARA, which are building blocks of their brain.

Q: What are the DHA benefits?

A: DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a building block of the toddler's brain. Experts recommend DHA for toddlers.

Q: What do toddlers need iron for?

A: Iron is an important nutrient, no matter how old you are. Iron is an essential part of haemoglobin, which is the primary transporter of oxygen in the red blood cell. Iron is important for psychomotor and mental development in infants and children.

Q: My three-year-old son drinks packaged milk. Why does my six-month-old baby need so much more fat?

A: Key developmental milestones require different levels of nutrition. Older children will get fat from other foods to support growth and development. Breast milk and formula, on the other hand, must provide all of the nutrients your baby needs for growth and development.

Q: I want to give my toddler fish for DHA, but I'm concerned about mercury. Can you suggest a substitute?

A: It's true that certain types of fish and seafood are high in mercury. Salmon (ravas) and Butterfish (Pomfret) are low in mercury and high in DHA. You can also look into DHA-enriched eggs and toddler milk drinks.

Q: Does my baby need vitamin supplements?

A: Babies generally get all the nutrition they need with breast milk and formula. If your baby is breastfed, the recommendation is to giving them a vitamin D supplement, as breast milk typically has very low levels of this nutrient. What's more, new-borns don't get sun exposure like adults to do, to produce vitamin D naturally. Your breastfed baby may also need an iron supplement, if your baby is born premature, or with low birth weight, or has low iron stores at birth. Ask your baby's doctor about the need for supplementation. As your baby becomes a toddler (and a picky eater), you may want to ask your child's doctor about vitamin supplements to be sure they are getting all the toddler nutrition they need.

Q: Now that my baby's a one-year-old, can they eat anything?

A: Although most toddlers can eat from the family menu, there are still a few things to watch out for—choking hazards, for one. Cut their food into small pieces (not round ones) to guard against choking. Make sure your baby is seated and supervised at all times while eating. And more.


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