Too much fibre and too little fat is not necessarily a healthy option for toddlers, new research has claimed.
The study says applying to children the healthy eating rules normally used for adults can lead to vitamin deficiencies and can even stunt growth.
The UK study by paediatric dietitian Dr Sarah Almond shows that a diet high in fibre and low in fat, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, is unsuitable for toddlers.
In an examination of food served to children in nurseries, it was found that the majority of them were providing food that was too low in calories, fat and saturated fat and too high in fruit and vegetables.
Dr Almond said such a dietary regime puts children at risk of developing nutritional deficiencies.
Her research also shows that most nurseries were serving children portions that were too small and very few provided children with meals containing enough calories.
Dr Almond said too much fibre, such as that absorbed through over-consumption of fruit and vegetables, can result in insufficient intake of other food groups and inhibit the absorption of key minerals.
She said children under five need frequent small meals and snacks throughout the day.
The research has indicated that nurseries and play-schools may not be properly informed abpout what healthy eating for under-fives actually entails.