From talking in longer sentences and running around with seemingly boundless energy, to making friends, your toddler continues to make incredible progress between their second and third birthdays. Find out more about your toddler’s next milestones as they start to explore the world around them and how to meet their nutritional needs at this busy, energetic – and sometimes frustrating – time.
Your toddler will become more physically able by the day. Whether it’s learning to kick a ball, holding a crayon to scribble, or eating with a fork and spoon, movement becomes more focused and accurate. After the age of two, you’ll be able to tell whether your toddler is right- or left-handed – watch which hand they use to reach for a cup or which foot they use to kick that ball. Before you know it, running becomes climbing and negotiating play area equipment, and scribbling becomes painting, drawing and modelling. You can help your toddler by playing with them outside as often as possible, running around and encouraging messy play with clay, paints, sand and water – even soil!
Between two and three, your toddler will become aware of having a wet or dirty nappy, bladder control, and realise that the toilet can be used for something other than dropping toys into. This awareness means that they may be ready to try potty training, so give it a go.
Nutrition for your toddler’s milestones
With all this activity and learning going on, it’s important that toddlers have a varied, balanced diet. It’s recommended that toddlers have three meals, and two to three healthy snacks daily: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, tea and maybe a pre-bedtime snack.
There are a range of nutrients that are important for your toddler, including iron, calcium and vitamin D. Sources of iron include lean red meat, eggs, oily fish, green leafy vegetables and beans. Beef stews, lamb casseroles, thin slices of chicken or pork, scrambled eggs on toast and baked beans are tasty ways to give your toddler iron.
Advertorial video brought to you by Aptamil Follow On and Growing Up milks.
Whole milk, growing up milk, cheese, yogurt and dairy desserts are sources of calcium. Calcium requires an adequate intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D is naturally synthesised by our bodies from sunlight on skin. It is also found in oily fish, eggs and fortified foods, such as some breakfast cereals. But, with the UK’s temperamental sunny weather, the Department of Health recommends that toddlers aged between one and four take a supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day, unless they’re drinking 500ml of formula a day.
Aptamil Growing Up milks are enriched with iron to support normal cognitive development, vitamin D and calcium for normal bone development and iodine which contributes to the normal growth of children, as part of a varied, balanced diet.
Around the age of two, your toddler will become more interested in playing with other children. This sociable time can be emotional – they learn to feel empathy with others and also explore their own emotions. At times, toddler emotions can all get a bit too much, and there’s a reason you may have heard this stage referred to as ‘the terrible twos’. Toddlers often feel more emotion than they can either communicate or handle, and the resulting frustration can manifest itself in tantrums – crying, screaming, throwing things and themselves on the floor, even kicking, hitting and biting. Tantrums are scary even for a toddler, so your best response is to stay calm, make sure they can’t harm themselves, and wait for the tantrum to burn itself out. When calm returns, help them name their emotions – anger, sadness, frustration - so they can communicate feelings verbally, rather than throwing a wobbly.
You may notice your previously confident, chatty, independent toddler becoming clingy and less talkative. A confident walker may want to be carried, or a potty-trained toddler may start wetting themselves. This is a normal phase known as regression – it may be a reaction to the astonishing amount of learning they’re doing, or a more obvious change - moving home or the arrival of a sibling. Regression is a toddler’s way of asking for more comfort and attention. Acknowledge their feelings and ask questions to find out what is worrying them or causing their behaviour to change. Create some one-to-one time so you can give your toddler lots of extra-special attention and cuddles and help get them back on track again.
A balanced diet with Aptamil Growing Up milks
Aptamil Growing Up milks are tailored to your toddler’s stage of development as part of a varied, balanced diet.
Aptamil with Pronutra+ Growing Up milk 2-3 years contains a unique blend of ingredients nutritionally tailored for your toddler, including iron to support normal cognitive development. It also contains DHA and EPA (omega 3 fatty acids). Vitamin D and calcium are also included for normal bone development. Aptamil with Pronutra+ Growing Up milk 2-3 years comes in a range of formats from powder to ready-to-drink Growing Up milk, including a resealable one-litre pack and a handy 200ml carton for when you are out and about.
Read more about the range of Aptamil Growing Up milks at Aptaclub.co.uk.
Advertorial brought to you by Aptamil Growing Up milks.