From daring food choices, to getting to grips with the latest gadgets, new research from SMA® Nutrition shows that Britain’s children aged 1-3 years are an adventurous lot.
The SMA® Nutrition Toddlers Today report* reveals the results of research conducted by ICM Unlimited with 1,000 mums in Great Britain. It explores the common experiences that contribute to the growth and development of modern day toddlers, including how they eat, play and socialise.
Toddlers and their tastebuds
We often think of toddlers as the fussiest of eaters, but according to this report, toddlers today have a surprisingly adventurous palate with modern home menus featuring such delights as couscous/quinoa or hummus (35%), avocado (28%) and sushi (7%).
Furthermore, 78% of mums believe toddlers enjoy a more varied diet than 20 years ago, and it’s encouraging to see such variation in texture and flavour in parents’ quests to give their toddlers a balanced diet. At that age, milk is a key source of nutrition too, so SMA Toddler Milk® is designed as part of a healthy balanced diet, specifically with toddlers aged 1 year+ in. Two x 200 ml servings will give 86% of a toddler’s vitamin D and 60% of their iron requirements for the day.
Charlie Parker, an independent Nutritionist explains:
“A healthy balanced diet not only provides your little one with the energy they need, but also the vital nutrients for optimal growth and development. For example, iron contributes to help support normal cognitive development in children while Calcium and Vitamin D are needed to help support normal growth and bone development. A good tip is to get as much variety as possible into your little one’s diet, and encourage them to try new and different flavours. A varied diet will not only help them to obtain a good range of nutrients but it can also help them avoid becoming fussy eaters, something many mothers battle with.”
Toddlers on the move
Now, picture a typical toddler and you probably picture them at home, emptying the pan cupboard or chasing the cat, but the SMA® Nutrition report shows that the toddlers of today are rather sociable, with over half (55%) of mothers taking their little ones to specially organised events (excluding nursery) on a weekly basis.
Of course, tech has become a big part of all of our lives today, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that nearly half (49%) of toddlers play with Tablets, iPads and mobile phones, but it doesn’t seem to stop them getting out and about.
The report shows that toddlers participate in traditional exercise like swimming on a regular basis (44%), with new forms of exercise such as toddler gym (15%), toddler discos (6%) and toddler yoga (4%) showing up on the modern toddler’s diary. They’re also well travelled, with 87% of mothers reporting they’ve taken their toddlers on holiday, for example on a beach holiday (56%), city break (34%) or camping (24%).
Sue Palmer, an independent Developmental Expert comments:
“Lots of play (particularly outdoor play) is not only vital for children’s physical development but also helps develop crucial emotional qualities, such as self-confidence and resilience. Toddlers need to hone real-life communication skills and large-scale physical coordination and control. Simply reading them stories, singing songs and giving opportunities for active, creative play are still the best ways to provide all-round development in the under-threes.”
How do you keep your little ones active?
When I read this report, it all rang true, so SMA® Nutrition have challenged me to keep a diary for a week to record all the activities my little one gets up to, and see if they tally with the research. I’ll be reporting back soon.
How about you? What activities fill your toddlers’ average week? Let me know in the comments.
*Online research conducted by ICM Unlimited with 1,000 mothers with toddlers (1-3 years old) throughout Great Britain between 28.10.14 and 04.11.14.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: SMA Toddler Milk is suitable for young children from 1-3 years, as part of a healthy balanced diet and it is not a breast milk substitute. Breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible.
This is a commissioned post for SMA® Nutrition.