TODDLERS TAKING their first solo steps, navigating the front room on their tricycle, or clambering up the stairs for a cuddle are all heart-warming moments for a parent, worthy of photographs for the family album.

What mums and dads may not realise is that on a daily basis, the nutrition our little ones require to achieve these little milestones is comparable to the power grown-ups need to complete major feats, like:

  • Running 30 miles at 10 minutes per mile – that’s longer than a marathon
  • Cycling 82 miles at 12-14 mph – the distance between London and Southampton
  • Climbing 2,980 metres – more than twice the height of the UK’s highest mountain
  • More than 300 minutes of competitive football – that’s three rounds of the Euro’s…plus extra time at every match
  • Over 18 hours playing the piano – which equates to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on loop 68 times
  • 250 minutes boxing – that’s 83 rounds in the ring
  • Eight hours of straight singles tennis – just three hours shy of the record breaking 11 hour, five minute match set at Wimbledon by Nicolas Mahut and John Isner in 2010
  • Nearly six hours hurdling – enough time for the world’s fastest 110m hurdler to leap the course 1,678 times
  • Rowing for six hours – plenty of time to row the 21 miles of the English Channel

The First Steps Research, commissioned by, highlights how a toddler’s daily antics: which might include tottering from one end of the sofa to the other, playing in their sandpit and even their afternoon nap, uses the same energy, when compared ‘pound for pound’ to an adult running 30 miles.

Leading dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton explains the science behind these findings: “If a little one saw their mum or dad run a marathon every day they would be pretty impressed! Of course, parents experience the same positive emotions when they witness the many milestones their toddler achieves each week…they are just unaware how much extra nutrition is needed to fuel this amazing development between the ages of one and three years.

“To illustrate the difference between a toddler’s and an adult’s diet, the First Steps Research worked out the average calories required to support a toddler on a daily basis. We took into consideration their weight, resting metabolic rate and energy necessary for growth, development and activity. Each of these factors, when compared with an average 70kg (154lb) adult, equated ‘pound for pound’ to a 3,600 calorie daily diet for an adult. Enough to run marathons, climb Ben Nevis twice and box more than seven fights consecutively.

“I hope the findings of the First Steps Research go some way to help parents understand why it is so important for our toddlers to get the ‘right’ healthy balanced diet designed to meet their special nutritional needs – including the right amount of vitamins – for this amazing period of growth and development.”

Getting the ‘right’ nutrition is the key point, as additional research by reveals that more than three quarters (78%) of parents think their toddler’s dietary needs are met if they eat the same meals as the rest of their family. In fact, ‘pound for pound’ (per kg of body weight, per day) toddlers require:

  • Nearly three times as much energy from food compared to adults
  • More than four times the amount of iron and vitamin C
  • Around three times the amount of calcium, zinc and vitamin A
  • More fat than adults, particularly ‘good’ unsaturated fats
  • Less salt in their food than adults

And when it comes to vitamin D, the Government recognises that young children are particularly vulnerable so they have defined a specific dietary requirement for toddlers. In the UK, a typical toddler diet and sunlight are unlikely to provide enough of the vitamin D that toddlers need. Further research by reveals nearly eight out of 10 parents are totally unaware of toddlers’ specific nutritional needs in relation to vitamin D[i], with the average British toddler receiving only 27% of their daily dietary requirement[ii]. Vitamin D is especially important for little ones’ bone development and the reference nutrient intake for six months to three years is 7?g daily from their diet.

Growing Up Milk is made from cows’ milk enriched with key nutrients that toddlers need, like vitamins A, C and D, iron and calcium. Giving your ‘Little One-der’ two 150ml beakers of Growing Up Milk each day is an easy way to help provide them with the extra nutrients they need, as part of a healthy balanced diet. Growing Up Milks provide about 70% of the daily toddler vitamin D requirement.

To find out more about the extraordinary growth and development that toddlers go through, visit The website offers advice and opinions from experts and mums on toddler nutrition and the role Growing Up Milk can play to help support our Little One-ders.

For more information, contact:
Frank PR
Tel: 0207 693 6999


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