New resource weighs up children's diets

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Nurseries can check they are meeting children's nutritional needs with the Infant and Toddler Forum's Tot it Up food calculator

The free online resource enables practitioners and parents to assess and monitor toddlers’ nutritional intake and indentify where improvements can be made with their diet.

The Tot it Up calculator, developed by the Infant and Toddler Forum: an independent group of experts in infant and child nutrition development, works by comparing the amount and type of food toddlers consume in a day against an ‘ideal diet’ for a child of their age.

To use the resource, practitioners must enter everything a toddler eats and drinks during one day or over the course of seven days, as well as how much physical activity they have done.

The calculator analyses the information and provides a breakdown of the child’s daily intake under the different food groups: foods high in fat and sugar; meat, fish and vegetarian alternatives (protein); milk, cheese and yoghurt (dairy); fruit and vegetables; and bread cereals and potatoes (carbohydrates).

It also considers what drinks a child has consumed and how much exercise they have done, and provides useful information and tips to make sure a child is getting a balanced diet.

The importance of healthy eating for toddlers was also highlighted at an event at the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday) held by Infant and Toddler Forum, in partnership with the Pre-School Learning Alliance and the Centre for Social Justice, and hosted by Labour MP Graham Allen.

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