According to research from Kiddylicious toddlers need more refuelling than parents may realise, we all know that toddlers just love to charge around and it is tiring work to keep up with them yet how much energy do they actually use? This new research has shown that in a day a toddler can burn enough energy equating to that of running a half marathon or dancing 30 Strictly inspired Samba routines in a row! It has also shown that the average toddler clocks up 5000 steps an hour which is more than an adult will cover in one DAY. Just to put this in perspective this is equivalent to walking two and a half ADULT miles an hour, for Olympic athlete and Strictly Come Dancing star Greg Rutherford, who has a 23-month-old son called Milo, he would have to long jump for 90 consecutive minutes.
In a survey of British parents 48% of them could not correctly identify how much energy their child was using in just one day. Also 68% of London parents have said they see snacking as a negative habit which expert nutritionists have dispelled as they say is it a key way to help refuel their energy for the day.
"Being a toddler is a very busy time", explains Dr. Hill. "At this stage of development, they are busy learning new skills like how to move and how to communicate, whilst growing rapidly. Energy consumption needs to reflect this and their eating pattern at this age should be based on small meals and snacks. Snacks are important because, at this age, toddlers' tummies are too tiny to get all the energy they need from meal times alone. Experts advise that at around 12 months, children should be offered three main meals and two or three healthy snacks each day to maintain their energy levels, and to help keep them going and growing." explains Dr Ali Hill, Registered Nutritionist and Course Leader for BSc Sport Coaching at Southampton Solent University.
Kiddylicious is on a mission, to inform parents of how much energy their tots are using and making them aware of how much extra nutrition is needed to fuel these bundles of energy and fuel this very important stage of growth between 12 and 24 months. They invited 12 to 24 month old toddlers to a play date at a soft play and worked with Dr Ali Hill to analyse the results:
"We looked at how much energy toddlers burned and number of steps taken within an hour of play, and considered this against gender, body weight, and the level of energy consumption required for rapid development and growth at this age. The average toddler expends about 30-32kcals of energy an in hour, but several of the toddlers at the playdate spent six or more times that!"