Thursday 22 September 2011


A new website,, has been launched by Cow & Gate to provide parents with important information on toddler growth, development and diet. They have created a fun video that highlights the period of extraordinary growth and development that toddlers go through from the age of one to three and explains why extra nutrients are needed to fuel it. The animation shows why Cow & Gate like to think of toddlers as 'Little One-ders' !

Recently completed the UK's first toddler census that looked at what its like to be a toddler in modern day Britain from food habits, to social and cultural traits. Did you know that the average toddler has nearly a four-figure sum spent annually on their activities/classes? Other interesting facts and figures revealed by the research include :

British toddlers spend longer staring at a screen each day than they do eating their meals and more time in a car than at a children’s playground

Toddlers’ diets are ‘more burgers than broccoli’

Fast and convenience foods play a significant role in the diet. Typically, today’s toddler is more likely to have eaten a burger than broccoli. This echoes previous data from the Infant and Toddler Forum, which revealed 29 per cent of toddlers eat a takeaway once a week and that 81% of toddlers are regularly given ready-made adults foods likely to be high in fat, sugar and salt.

A lot on mum’s plate

Today’s busy lifestyles are also having a clear impact on toddlers’ diets. One in 100 parents say they’ve never cooked a meal for their child and the average mum has just ten recipes she can rotate for lunch and dinner.

Six out of ten mums surveyed for the study said they were unaware of the UK Departments of Health recommendation that toddlers should receive a daily supplement containing vitamins A, C and D and responses showed 74% of toddlers are not given these extra vitamins. Uptake of vitamin supplements was reported as lowest in Edinburgh, Newcastle and Sheffield, where the need for vitamin D supplementation is said to be greater than in cities south of Birmingham, due to lower exposure to the UVB sunlight which helps the body produce Vitamin D.

Fuss-trating behaviour doesn’t help

Typical toddler behaviour like fussy eating stresses out 84% of mums, according to the new survey. Toddlers refusing to eat, making a mess and refusing specially-cooked meals all ranked as things that pile pressure/worry on mums.

For 44% of mums these worries seem to have made them go as ‘stretching the truth’ to other parents about their little ones’ diets. Many mums surveyed admitted exaggerating the positives, saying their toddlers eat fewer crisps, sweets and biscuits and more fruit and vegetables than they really do.

“Fussy and faddy eating can perhaps make you wonder if your toddler is less Little One-der and more Todzilla!” says Amanda Ursell “But turning their noses up at and refusing point blank to eat certain foods is a pretty normal phase most toddlers live through. If a toddler is growing well then phases of fussy eating like this are not usually a long-term problem but there are ways to reassure yourself their needs are still being met.”

Child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson agrees “The three most common problems I see among my patients are toddler tantrums, toilet training and fussy eating.”

“The good news is that modern developments in toddler nutrition have provided today’s parents with convenient and effective ways to ensure their toddlers receive the nutrients they need to help fuel their growth. For instance, 300ml of Growing Up Milk every day alongside a healthy, balanced diet will provide toddlers calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and D, and omega 3 and 6.”

The ‘Census’ was commissioned by, a website for parents seeking information about toddler nutrition and the role of Growing Up Milk within a healthy, balanced diet.

for more information :

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Baby Weaning - Recipes from Mandy Haywood, Boots Baby Food Expert
Book review : Children’s Nutrition: A Parent’s Guide - Angela Falaschi & Andréa Childs
Is your toddler a Foodie Fan or Mini Muncher?


  1. some of these facts are quite scary - like British toddlers spend longer staring at a screen each day than they do eating their meals and more time in a car than at a children’s playground

  2. I suspect if some toddlers live on burgers and takeaways and spend most of their time on the computers, then they might need vitamins and supplements. If a child has a healthy diet and lifestyle, there is absolutely no need for any supplements. I certainly would not start giving my little one any supplements if he doesn't need them, he has a good appetite, eats very well, loves his veg and fruit, I still b/f him as well. This kind of surveys always make me wonder where did they collect information, and how truthful it is. Surely I am not the only Mum who does not put her toddler behind the computer, and who does not drive, but walks with her child everywhere In town, who feeds her child healthy organic meals etc? Never trust the stats, or take them with a pinch of salt.

  3. I am really impressed from all your posts

  4. Do toddlers really eat nothing but junk food and stare at screens all day? Quite interesting reading - I couldn't get my toddler to stare at a screen all day even I wanted her too!!...and she lives for fruit & veg!

  5. Whoa! Both interesting and shocking to hear that my home city of Sheffield is one of the cities with the most little ones on Vitamin D supplements :-/


  6. I can't belive some of these facts, quite shocking


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