MYTH 1: Young children need loads of milk each day…
Wrong! After the age of 1, toddlers only need 10oz or 300ml of milk per day to meet calcium requirements of 350mg/day. From 4 years of age, they need slightly more as calcium requirements increase to 450mg per day.
(Older children and adolescents have higher calcium requirements….see this post on bone health in school-aged children)
MYTH 2: If a toddler does not like a vegetable, you should stop offering it to them…
Wrong! Research shows that repeated exposure (it may take 10 to 15 times) and eating vegetables yourself, are key issues in getting children to like vegetables. So parents, don’t give up on encouraging your child to eat their veggies and show them how much you like your veggies too!
MYTH 3: If a baby is formula fed, you should change to a follow on formula from 6 months….
Wrong! This is a common myth as the marketing of these products is so good! All formula-fed babies can continue on a first infant formula until they are 12 months of age. From around 6 months, introduce iron-rich complementary foods alongside a formula (or breastfeeding).
MYTH 4: You should delay giving peanut products to a baby…
Wrong! Recent research has shown that the introduction of peanuts to babies (before 11 months of age) can actually PREVENT the development of peanut allergy later in life (LEAP study)
Please note: If your baby has eczema and/or egg allergy, they should first be assessed by an appropriately trained HCP, as they may need a skin prick test BEFORE introducing peanut products.
MYTH 5: Babies / young children don’t need vitamin supplements…
Wrong! They need vitamin D to be supplemented.
In the UK, it is recommended that all children aged 1 to 4 years be given a daily supplement containing 10μg vitamin D. Breastfed babies should be given a daily vitamin D supplement of 8.5 to 10μg from birth and formula fed babies should only be given a vitamin D supplement when they are drinking less than 500ml formula per day as infant formula milk is fortified with vitamin D.