Key points  

  • Toddlers and pre-school children are growing rapidly and are active so their energy requirements are high relative to their body size.
  • Pre-school children need nutrient dense foods, providing a good supply of protein, vitamins and minerals to support healthy growth and development.
  • While pre-school children can start to adopt some of the principles of the Eatwell Guide, a diet which is low in fat and high in fibre may not provide enough energy for a young child.
  • An eating pattern based on small meals and snacks selected from the four main food groups should be encouraged.
  • A healthy family approach to diet and lifestyle should be encouraged, as food preferences are often established during this early stage of life.