Why are carbs important for babies and toddlers?

Will G
September 18, 2023
5 min read

Why are carbs important for babies and toddlers?

When we think about healthy eating, the first thing that comes to mind is often protein and veggies. However, it's important to remember that for babies and toddlers, carbohydrates are a crucial part of their diets.

Carbohydrates are the bodies preferred energy source and they are ultimately converted to glucose by the body. Little ones have very different energy requirements to adults due to all the important growing and development that is going on in their bodies every day.

For your average toddler, their daily intake of energy should be about 50% carbs spread across the day. Here’s the science behind it:

  • If a 4 year old boy requires approximately 1390kcal/day then 50% of the calories (695kcal) should be coming from carbohydrate spread out over the day.
  • There are 4kcal per 1g of carbohydrate and therefore this boy requires approximately 174g carbohydrate/day. Lunch should provide 30% energy for the day and therefore around 52g carbohydrate.
  • Requirements for carbohydrate are worked out to prevent the body going into ketosis (the breakdown of muscle tissue - which would happen if you didn’t eat a certain amount of carbohydrates) but mainly to keep the proportion of fat in the diet relatively low whilst keeping satiety (feeling of fullness) high!

What are good sources of carbohydrates?

(Left) V&Me's Vegetarian chilli toddler meal with sweet potato wedges on the side and (right) a meatball pasta served with a side of broccoli.

Starchy carbohydrates are a great source of energy and should be part of each of your little one’s meals.

Here are some examples of good starchy carbohydrates:

  1. Cooked grains like rice, quinoa, oats, bulgur, spelt
  2. Potatoes
  3. Pasta
  4. Bread (ideally free of preservatives)

The recommended serving size is approximately 80g of cooked rice, pasta, potato or bread.A little bit of wholegrain carbohydrate (e.g. Weetabix, wholemeal pasta) is recommended, but the fibre can fill little ones’ tummies up and reduce their appetite for other meals. We include wholegrains once a week on V&Me menus.

Why choose V&Me

If you’re worried about your little one getting the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and all the other micro-nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy, then look no further than V&Me.

Our menus are specifically designed to balance the unique nutritional needs of your little one, ensuring they get the optimal levels of carbohydrates, protein and fat in their daily diet.

Guilt free alternative to home-cooking with V&Me

With no frozen food, no preservatives, and no additives, our expertly crafted (from scratch!) baby food menus are fully paediatric designed to fulfil your baby’s nutritional needs and release their full potential.

We pride ourselves on our professional chefs creating each dish by hand with fresh, seasonal ingredients, so you can trust that your baby is getting the best possible nutrition.

Start your order today and experience the truly guilt-free alternative to home-cooking for your baby.

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About the author
Will G
September 18, 2023
Will is our very own in-house baby food expert! He is the go-to for anything baby, weaning, or product related. Working directly with experts, professors and paediatric dietitians, our content aims to keep you up to date on the latest tips, advice and opinions, giving you and your little one the best start for developing healthy eating habits.
Phoenix Baker
Product Manager
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