Q: Now that my toddler is weaned, should I be giving him a low fat diet?
A: No, for adults, a healthy diet is one which is low in fat. This is not true for toddlers. Fat is an important source of energy in a child's diet. If total fat intake is low, it can be difficult to ensure that energy (calorie) intake is adequate for healthy growth and development.
Fat is also an important source of essential fatty acids and of fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Essential fatty acids are necessary for growth and for keeping the skin in healthy condition. Your toddler should have full-fat milk, cheese and other dairy products.
Q: Do I have to make sure my toddler has a high fibre diet?
A: No, fibre is an important part of a healthy diet for adults. This is not the case for toddlers. A high fibre bran cereal, for example, would not be appropriate. This is because fibre makes the diet more bulky which can make your toddler’s tiny tummy feel full after eating fewer calories. It may therefore be difficult for your child to get enough energy to ensure healthy growth and development.
Q: I want my toddler to share in our mealtimes and I cut up our food for him, but what do I do about salt? My family loves it in our meals.
A: Many foods intended for older children and adults have added salt. Children aged one to three should have no more than 1000mg of salt per day. The recommendation for adults is 1500mg a day. You should avoid giving your toddler overly salty foods including gravies, sauces, chips or pretzels.
Q: How can I encourage my toddler to feed himself?
A: Giving healthy finger foods such as toast, cooked vegetables, cheese and fruits like apple, banana and pear can encourage self feeding. Your toddler might like to hold a little box of raisins or an iron fortified biscuit or cereal bar, which might encourage self-feeding.
Q: What kind of meal pattern should my toddler be having now?
A: By 12 months your toddler should be well on his way to a more usual diet consisting of three main meals with the family interspersed with snacks and milk drinks. The texture of the meals will be more chopped than mashed. A wide variety of healthy foods and drinks should be offered to help ensure an adequate intake of all nutrients.
Q: My toddler just won’t eat anything healthy. What can I do?
A: Your child’s tastes will develop over the years. It’s best to introduce important foods one at a time and ask your toddler to eat just one piece of a new or unwanted item. Sometimes foods have to be introduced several times before a toddler will try them. Also, you can ask, at the start of the day, which five items your child will eat for their five-a-day healthy foods and reward them (not with food!) when they succeed. You can also use puréed vegetables as a sauce on foods they do like and work on giving them healthy snacks like fresh fruit. Overall, it’s about patience, setting realistic goals as well as rewarding and engaging your child in food and making new foods exciting and fun.
Q: Is it okay for my baby to snack between meals?
A: Toddlers are growing so quickly and using up so much energy exploring the world that they need snacks in between meals to keep their energy levels up. Just try to keep snacks healthy. You can offer rice cakes, mini sandwiches, sliced fruit, diced cheese, raisins, baby biscuits, cereal bars or crackers. Heinz offers a complete line of healthy snacks that include:
Q: I use treats to keep my toddler (and therefore me) sane at supermarkets and on other errands. He only wants sweet things though, what can I do to change that?
A: High-sugar treats are not ideal. Toddlers respond well to choosing, if you give them a choice between two or three healthy options they’ll often stay within those parameters. Bananas and other fruits, a sandwich or your baby’s usual milk are a good alternative. Finger foods are great too, like Heinz® Little KidsTM Biscuits which are packed with Calcium, Iron and Vitamin B and Heinz® Little KidsTM Cereal Bars which are made with whole grains and real fruits. You may also consider not eating sweet or less healthy foods in front of him to encourage healthy eating habits for the whole family.
Q: My toddler eats little at meal times so I have to feed him snacks. Is there anything I can do to stop this?
A: Toddlers need heaps of energy from their food, so nourishing snacks are important. But to improve appetite during meals, it’s best to stick as much as you can to set eating and snack times and make sure you are offering a varied and fun diet. Check the timing of snacks, making sure they do not occur too close to meal time.
Q: How can I tell if my toddler snacks are still good to use?
A: There is a stamped production code (a series of four numbers followed by a time frame) on every Heinz product. This code may appear at the top of the box, bag or canister, but never on the labelling. For example, on a box of Nutrios®, the code might read: 1229 08:32.
The above code tells us when the product was made. The first four numbers represent a Julian calendar day: the first three numbers indicate the day of the year (in this case, the 122nd day, which is May 1st), and the last digit indicates the year of production (in this case 9 for 2009). Most toddler products have a shelf life between 12 to 20 months after this production date (please refer to chart below for shelf life for specific products). For this example, the food would be best used by May of the Year 2010. The series of four numbers often stamped under or beside this code simply indicate the time of day when the product was produced (08:32 means the product was made at thirty-two minutes past eight in the morning).
Q: If your cereal "may contain wheat" why isnít it listed as an ingredient?
A: Wheat is not an ingredient of this cereal, but there is a possibility of wheat entering the system at the field level. So out of an abundance of caution, we suggest that those consumers who are allergic to wheat avoid using the products.
All our products are in full compliance with all food labelling regulations in Canada.
Q: How could you not know for sure? Donít you know what goes into your product? What good is triple testing?
A: There is a possibility of wheat entering the system at field level or when milled into flour. Current testing can detect gluten, but cannot differentiate wheat gluten from barley or rye gluten. Out of an abundance of caution, we suggest that those consumers who are allergic to wheat avoid using the products that bear this statement.
Q: Which of your cereals can my child eat?
A: If your child has a wheat allergy, we recommend that you avoid using our cereals.