When you have a 3+ toddler, there’s always so much going on! As your child grows and develops, they start to learn new skills and experience a new sense of self-awareness—and it’s truly incredible to witness as parents! But unless you’re an expert in early childhood development, 3+ toddlerhood can be quite a tricky phase to navigate, especially when they start being picky with food.
"How can you be mindful of the food you serve?"
How do you make sure you’re giving them the right nutrients but at the same time, something they also like and enjoy eating?"
All these questions—and more—were answered by a panel of experts as NIDO® 3+ hosted the ExperTIPS Congress last May 15, 2021. The virtual parenting congress provided a fun and interactive learning experience for all attendees. There were exciting booths to try out, and even an interactive website featuring rooms they can explore. All this while learning helpful and valuable tips on how to make sure they’re providing the right nutrients to their #TodoExplorer during this crucial stage in their development.
Also present during the event were some celebrity moms like Marian Rivera and Iya Villania who shared their first-hand experiences in 3+ toddler parenthood and inspired more parents to enjoy little and big moments of parenting.
Here are some of the topics and tips shared by expert pediatricians and nutritionists from the event:
The lack of diversity in a 3+ toddler’s diet
Based on a global project collaboration between Nestle Research Center and the Philippines’ Food and Nutrition Research Institute, the typical diet of a Filipino toddler has inadequate intakes for many nutrients needed to support their growth and development.
“Their diet includes a lot of carbohydrates in the form of rice and sweets and less of proteins and fats as seen in low intake of milk, fruits and vegetables, and other iron sources. Thus, there is an imbalance of important macronutrients and micronutrients,” said Dr. Edward Santos. These nutrients are important to support physical and cognitive growth and development as well as normal immune function during 3+ toddlerhood. While we all have our favorite homemade food, Dr. Santos reminded parents that they play a key role in shaping their +3 toddlers’ diet and they have to be mindful of the food they introduce at home.
The Science of Picky Eating
There are many reasons why kids shun their food but Dr. Katrina Anne Valera said that the earlier we address them, the better for our 3+ toddler’s health and nutrition. Some practical tips she shared include encouraging independent feeding to allow the child to explore and feel in control of what he or she is eating. Another way is to encourage the child to “eat your colors” or eat food of different colors every day. This way, you can also introduce different nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits.
How to Improve Food and Beverage Intake of your 3+ Toddler
3+ Toddlers are drawn to sugary treats that are tasty but not all too nutritious. According to Nutritionist-Dietitian, Ms. Ditas Sagarbarria, parents must avoid giving high-calorie milk to their 3+ toddler because it may promote excessive caloric intake or excessive energy intake. Ms. Sagarbarria also shared that parents can improve the nutrient intake of their 3+ toddlers by giving them healthy finger foods like fruits or Vitamin A-rich vegetables such as carrots or squash. “It lessens the fear of trying the new food as they can feel and enjoy the color. Since the amount is very small, they will also welcome it and they will be more open to trying the new food,” she said. Adding small changes in the diet of your kids can make a big difference in the nutrients they get.
Ms. Sagarbarria also emphasized including age-appropriate milk in your 3+ toddler’s diet to support their growth and development. “Age-appropriate milk is formulated specifically to meet the nutritional needs of young children,” said Ms. Sagarbarria. As parents, we shouldn’t only be mindful of what we feed our 3+ toddlers but also the milk we choose.
That is why, mommy Marian Rivera, only trusts NIDO® 3+ for her daughter Zia. “I make sure na nakakainom s'ya ng 2 glasses of NIDO® 3+ a day along with balanced meals, para confident ako na TODO PROTECTED si Ate Zia at maiwasan ang nutrient inadequacy lalong lalo na at big milestones ang 3+ toddlerhood,” shared the celebrity mom. Marian also mentioned how NIDO® 3+ helps her feel assured that Zia is getting all the age-appropriate nutrients and vitamins she needs, to equip and protect her as she explores 3+ toddlerhood years with confidence.
As the true expert in 3+ toddlerhood, NIDO® 3+ is formulated to be rich in protection nutrients like Vitamins A, C, E, PREBIO3®, Iron, Zinc and other essential minerals; not to mention the only milk with LACTOBACILLUS PROTECTUS® that helps support a child's upper respiratory defenses. NIDO® 3+ is definitely every parent’s ally in 3+toddler nutrition, helping parents keep their Todo Explorers TODO protected and TODO supported during this adventurous time in their development.