The toddler years are a period of the child's life where they move into a new stage of eating and drinking more independently leaving the baby bottles behind. Adequate nutritional intake in the sensitive period of toddler development is a key determinant of health both in the short- and long-term perspective. The right nutrition is essential for toddlers as it has an important impact on their growth and natural development.
Nutrient-rich foods support toddlers’ growth and development
With all the energy toddlers use, their small stomachs can’t hold enough food to keep them from getting hungry between meals. Due to the limited capacity and a high demand for nutrients required, nutrient-rich foods should be among those most commonly consumed to support the toddler’s proper growth and development.
Therefore, healthy food choices for toddlers should be nutritious but also appetizing, as toddlers develop food preferences of their own, asking for some foods while rejecting others. This underlines the fact that there are many different aspects that need to be in focus when it comes to nutrition for toddlers.
A dynamic market with differentiated products
The toddler market is highly dynamic with many differentiated products and nutrition for toddlers, continued high value growth and a broader marketing platform compared to the infant formula market. It is also a strategic platform for establishing brand recognition and ingredient positioning within the infant and child categories.
Healthy and tasty protein products for toddlers
Arla Foods Ingredients provide ingredients that can be part of tasty, healthy and appealing foods and drinks fulfilling modern mothers requirements for a healthy toddler product. Lacprodan® ALPHA-10, Capolac®, and Lacprodan® whey protein are ingredients that supply the building blocks for continued growth and development of a toddler.
Lacprodan® ALPHA-10 has a high content of alpha-lactalbumin rich in essential and conditionally essential amino acids. This is the dominant protein in human milk, comprising 25-35% of the total protein content. Alpha-lactalbumin prevents E. coli induced diarrhea as demonstrated in an infant rhesus monkey trial and has a bifidogenic effect supporting a healthy gut flora.
Calcium is an essential part of toddler nutrition
Calcium is an essential nutrient important for bone growth and maintenance as well as teeth mineralization. Capolac® is a natural milk mineral with a high content of milk calcium (> 24%) and a calcium phosphate composition similar to bone and teeth. Calcium has an accepted health claim in EU and China* on bone and health, and addition of Capolac® allows for the use of a claim on milk calcium.
Bioactive lipids are crucial to cognitive development
Phospholipids (PL) and gangliosides are bioactive lipids important for cognitive development. The brain has its most significant growth from birth to 2 years of age where it reaches about 75% of its full weight. Phospholipids can be obtained from several sources but only bovine milk has a similar phospholipid profile to human milk. Recent results from a number of infant clinical trials have demonstrated a link between phospholipids, gangliosides and infant cognitive development. A new study has shown that feeding infants infant formula supplemented with phospholipids and gangliosides results in improved cognitive development at year one compared to a standard formula (for more information see also phospholipids & MFGM).
High-quality whey protein as toddler nutrition with a high content of amino acids
Whey protein is a composite protein source with a high protein quality. Whey proteins are easily digestible and have the highest content of essential amino acids compared to other protein sources. Whey protein concentrate contains more than 76% protein and all the essential amino acids required by the growing toddler. Arla Foods Ingredients has a big portfolio of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate with different protein concentrations and lactose levels.
These four different ingredients can be used in food solutions such as drinks including growing up milks, biscuits, smoothies and yoghurts that match the product preferences of a toddler. Making it the perfect protein ingredients for toddler nutrition.
*on food applications for +3 years
Brück et al. 2003. J Pediatric Gastroenterol Nutr 37:273-280, Timby et al. 2014. Am J Clin Nutr 99:860-868, Gurnida et al. 2012. Early Hum Dev. 88: 595-601, Liu et al. 2014. J Nutr 144: 1903–1909, Bonjour et al. 1997. J Clin Invest 99: 1287-1294, Bonjour et al. 2001. Lancet 358: 1208-1212
 This study has been performed by Hero.
Arla Foods Ingredients supports the WHO recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two or beyond in combination with nutritionally appropriate complementary foods.