Toddlers are still growing and need a good amount of fat in their diet, mostly to support normal growth of the brain and body.
As a high-calorie nutrient (9 calories per gram), fat ensures your toddler gets enough calories, especially when you consider his tiny tummy.
Babies need almost 50 percent of their total calories coming from fat, and this is well covered by the fat content of breast milk and infant formula.
In the toddler years, the fat requirements drop to about 30-40 percent of total calories. Because young toddlers need the calories and can be picky and eat erratically, experts recommend whole milk until age two. By the school years, your child should be consuming about 30 percent of his calories from fat (or less).
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, September 2020