The Nourished Toddler by Dr Julie Bhosale
The much-anticipated follow-on from The Nourished Baby, Dr Julie Bhosale – a mother, researcher and lecturer – unpacks the science of the major developmental changes across toddlerhood.
The more controversial topics surrounding what to feed toddlers, including grains, fat, and toddler milk, are covered in detail.
She also shares her top strategies for dealing with fussy eaters, especially the ‘strong-willed’ toddler.
Bhosale also includes detailed menu plans for each stage of toddler life, recipe ideas, guidance on health issues like constipation and immunity, the vegan child, the importance of sleep and tips to manage screen time.
Space is left for families to create strategies for dealing with challenges, and to reflect on their parenting beliefs.
The recipes are surprisingly simple and fuss-free. There’s no fancy ingredients you have to scour multiple stores to find, it’s all standard items you can find at the supermarket or already in your pantry.
Touted as the ‘one-stop-shop’ for not only nourishing your toddler but bringing back the magic of family mealtimes, this guide is comprehensive. Almost to the point that it became too much.
There were a number of pointers Bhosale makes that contradict my own parenting philosophy and research – particularly around sleep. While she offers research to back up her points, the contradictory viewpoint is never really offered or debated.
While she openly acknowledges that families come in all different shapes, sizes and with widely varying beliefs, it’s not so evident within the pages.
For those nervous or anxious parents, this book could be challenging. There is an obvious market for this type of guide, and I just wish Bhosale could have been a little more confidence-instilling for parents. It is not until her endnote that this is really acknowledged – that so many of us are already doing the best we can. That said, this book is a good resource – once you put the ‘Mum guilt’ to on side.
The science of the toddler section at the beginning of the book is a great crash course in child development. Her research is comprehensive and there’s lot of interesting tidbits within the book about the roles of hormones, minerals and vitamins. A list of further reading is also included, as is a glossary to provide a quick reference.
All in all, The Nourished Toddler is a comprehensive, in-depth look at some of the challenges parents of toddlers might face. Much more than just food, it provides advice on a range of topics. Written by a mum to help her village, it is practical, if not always realistic.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Bateman, RRP $39.99