Toddlers run a lot!
For all the mothers who maintain that looking after a toddler can seem like the most exhausting activity in the world, you are not wrong. According to a new study, toddlers’ constant running around burns the equivalent of a marathon every day.
Their daily antics can expend the same energey as if an adult did 83 rounds in a boxing ring, ran 50km, or cycled 130km, according to First Steps Research.
The survey highlights how a toddler’s daily antics – including running around, playing in a sandpit, climbing stairs and playing in a play park – are the same as adults climbing 2 980 metres.
This can also equate to 300 hours of competitive football – that’s more than three full football matches in a row – or a rowing session of six hours.
Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton said: “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.”
In order to illustrate the difference between a toddlers’ and an adult’s diet, the First Steps Research worked out the average calories required to support a toddler on a daily basis by taking into consideration their weight, resting metabolic rate and energy necessary for growth, development and activity.
The survey found that 78 percent of parents think that if a child eats the same meals as them in smaller portions, their dietary meets are met, but in fact, toddlers require far more. According to the study, they need three times as much energy as adults, four times the amount of iron and vitamin C, three times the amount of calcium, zinc and vitamin A, far more fats and less salt.