Your Top 16 Kid Nutrition Questions Answered

Creating awareness about children’s eating habits and guide mothers on they can  ensure the children have an #EarlyStartToHealthyLife

Children come in all shapes and sizes, but if you’re noticing that your child is shorter than her friends at school, it’s natural to wonder if your she’s growing normally.

Infants have their own unique nutritional and developmental needs. Adult dietary guidelines for fat, protein, fiber, sugars and other nutrients should not be applied to infants and young children. As our children grow, it is important to foster good eating habits and relationships with foods. We share some helpful tips and suggestions to incorporate.

Complete guide about Childhood Nutrition

Child nutrition

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions by moms answered by Certified Holistic Nutritionist Priyanshi Bhatnagar

1.As a parent, should we worry about the quantity of food for kids?

When looking at a range of portion sizes, parents and those who care for young children should choose the smaller portion sizes for children age two or three, and go with a slightly larger portion for children who are age four or five.

Calorie requirements and portion sizes increase as children get older: between ages six and ten, boys and girls need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories each day.

Because of puberty and adolescent growth, between ages 10 and 12, girls need about 200 more calories a day. Boys will begin needing about 500 more calories a day after age 12.

2.Adults take 3 meals a day, is it same for children? How many meals are recommended for kids?

Yes, It is important that children eat three meals a day and not skip breakfast. Studies have shown that children and teens that skip breakfast have more trouble concentrating, do not perform as well in school, and often have later problems with heart disease. Obesity is common in children who skip breakfast.

3.Should we give a multivitamin supplement to children? Is it necessary?
Multivitamins aren’t necessary for most healthy children who are growing normally.

Foods are the best source of nutrients. Regular meals and snacks can provide all the nutrients most children need. Furthermore, multivitamins aren’t without some risks. Megadoses of vitamins and minerals can be toxic. A multivitamin might be helpful for your child if he or she:

• Has a delay in physical and developmental growth (failure to thrive)

• Has certain chronic diseases or food allergies

• Has a restrictive diet, such as a strict vegan diet

4.How many grams of protein per day should we try to give to a toddler?

The recommended intake of protein for babies is about 11 grams per day between 7-months and a year old. For toddlers, the amount increases to 13 grams. By the time kids hit school protein intake should be around 19 grams per day.

5.What food can be given to babies above 6 months to supplement vitamin D and iron syrup.

 The recommended daily requirements for iron vary by age.

• age 0–6 months: 0.27 milligrams (mg) per day

• age 6–12 months: 11 mg per day

• ages 1–3 years: 7 mg per day

• ages 4–8 years: 10 mg per day

Food list include lean meats(organ meats, liver, Dark chicken and turkey meat ), Fortified cereals and oatmeal, beans (Soybeans, lima beans, kidney beans, lentils and chickpea), spinach, raisin and pumpkin seeds.,

Vitamin D rich foods can mean healthier babies and healthier kids can be milk, yoghurt, salmon, egg, fortified cereals.

6.Milk, is it necessary? How much milk should kids age between 7 to 10 drink? And what kind? (whole milk/ fat rich/skimmed/2%)

Yes, dairy is important. Milk gives kids calcium and other nutrients they need.

The goal for kids 2-8 years old drink 2 cups of milk each day & 9-18 years old drink 3 cups of milk each day

Focus on nonfat or low-fat milk, which is currently recommended for all children age 2 and older. As well as those dairy products that are high in calcium.

Child nutrition

7.What are the disadvantages of giving cow’s milk before the baby turns one year.

Cow’s milk should not be introduced before 1 year of age. As they cannot digest cow milk as they can breast milk and formula. Cow milk also has a high concentration of protein and minerals that can strain an infant’s kidneys. The baby’s stomach and kidneys become stronger after the age of 12 months, which makes it an ideal time to introduce cow’s milk.

8.Is peanut butter good for kids?

Peanut butter is a kid-friendly, nutritious food if eaten in moderation. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, B vitamins, iron, folic acid and fiber. It is high in monounsaturated fats, which are good for the heart. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 28 per cent of the RDA of protein for children under the age of 10.

9.How to ensure enough nutrients if you are vegetarian?

To get the most out of a vegetarian diet, choose a variety of healthy plant-based foods, such as whole fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, and whole grains.

At the same time, cut back on less healthy choices, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices and refined grains.

10.For children who do not eat eggs & chicken, what else can be given to him to meet their protein needs?

You can incorporate vegetarian sources of protein like Paneer, Buttermilk, tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, beans, quinoa, yoghurt and soy-based meat substitutes. These foods have similar nutrients and will help your child meet their nutritional needs. You could also give him a complete protein mix i.e, the combination of dal & rice.

11.How to make kids dislike junk foods.

1. Start young. The very first step is to teach about healthy and junk food right from childhood.

2. Provide him with healthy and filling snacks

3. Do positive marketing yourself!

4. Be a good role model for your child

5. Follow a set routine for mealtimes, Create a comforting family environment

6. Don’t use junk food as a reward or a bribe!

7. Make sure your child stays well-hydrated.

8. Filter out sugar from his snacks.

9. Take your child shopping with you and buy only healthy foods.

Kids nutrition

12.Should we feed fatty food (ghee, butter, fried foods, and so on) to gain weight. Is it healthy or it doesn’t matter for kids.

No, for weight gain we need nutrient-rich foods. Good sources for weight gain include eggs, peanut butter and other nut kinds of butter, bean soups, hummus and reduced-fat or full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese. Whole-wheat bread and pasta; mashed, baked or oven-roasted potatoes; sweet potatoes; corn; and cereal are excellent carbohydrate choices. Nuts, seeds, ghee and dairy are healthy fat sources to help your child gain weight.

13.How much chocolates/sweets/sugar is ok for my child as a snack?

Food and drinks that are high in added sugars have extra calories and may have few nutrients. Too many sugary foods and sweet drinks can make children feel full and leaves less room for healthy foods. Too much sugar can also lead to cavities if children do not brush their teeth regularly.

Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (5 sugar cubes).

Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day (6 sugar cubes).

14.Is it advisable to avoid ice-cream during winter and cold evenings? Or it doesn’t matter?

Ice creams are not the best foods to be given to a child. All frozen and cold desserts should be kept at bay during winters. Cold and cough are caused essentially by the virus. You would be surprised to know that it isn’t just the temperature of the food that is the culprit here. It is the excessive sugar present in the ice cream. When the virus has made home in your system, they feed on this sugar and become more activated.

15.Should we avoid dairy products when the kid is having stuffy nose and congestion.

The dairy products are known to generate phlegm. Increased phlegm thickens the mucus, and so it takes longer for the thicker mucus to get out of your system consequently causing acute congestion. Hence blocking the child’s nasal passage during cold and flu.

16.What kind of food is most suitable when a child is sick?

Foods that are easy to digest and have a better likelihood of staying down than other foods when a child is sick.

BRAT diet: Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast

CRAM diet: cereal, rice, applesauce, and milk

Others can be Chicken Soup, Broths, Coconut Water, Hot Tea, Honey Ginger tea and Spicy Foods.

Still have questions about well-balanced nutrition for kids? Don’t hesitate to contact detoxpri for additional guidance on how to meet your kids’ unique nutritional needs at every age.

Childhood Nutrition : The Importance of Infant and Young child Feeding

Getting children to eat healthy foods can sometimes feel like fighting an uphill battle. The leafier and greener the food, the greater the struggle.

Parents play a key role in promoting healthy eating. Right from the start, choosing to breastfeed gives babies a nutritional boost and may help them learn to better regulate their food intake. 

Do you know?

A child born today can expect to live 26 years longer than a child born in 1900, but a person who has already reached 45 today can expect to live only four or five years longer than a person born in 1900.

Nutrition for kids is based on the same principles as nutrition for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages.

Why is Childhood Nutrition Important?

Nutrition is important at every age. Your children need proper nutrients to stay healthy and strong and grow up healthy and strong.

Nutrition for children can also help establish a foundation for healthy eating habits and nutritional knowledge that your child can apply throughout life.

Childhood nutrition involves making sure that children eat healthy foods to help them grow and develop normally, as well as to prevent obesity and future disease.

It is important that children eat three meals a day and not skip breakfast. Studies have shown that children and teens that skip breakfast have more trouble concentrating, do not perform as well in school, and often have later problems with heart disease. Obesity is common in children who skip breakfast.

Child nutrition

What nutrients do children need?

The guidelines include selections from different food groups to provide the vitamins and minerals young bodies need for natural growth and activity. However, in this age of what has been called “advanced medicine,” there are those who seek to understand why so many among us, especially children, suffer from so much serious illness.

Each culture over centuries has developed its traditional diet.

To help guide parents and others in making good nutritional choices to keep BMI in line with normal growth and just to keep children healthy, the American Medical Association (AMA) suggests the following food choices for children, based on the USDA guidelines. Here are 5 healthy food group categories, emphasizing the nutritional intake of the following:

Grains. Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole-wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal. Aim for mostly whole-grains.

Vegetables. Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of colourful vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables and starchy vegetables.

Fruits. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut up, or pureed.

Dairy. Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.

Protein. Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein routine. Choose more fish, nuts, seeds, legumes (peas and beans).

Here are some Healthy Snacks for the Kids

Children two to five years of age

The AMA and USDA recommend food guidelines for young children similar to those for older children and adults, but with smaller portions. When looking at a range of portion sizes, parents and those who care for young children should choose the smaller portion sizes for children age two or three, and go with a slightly larger portion for children who are age four or five.

Daily recommendations include:

• four to five servings of grains

• two or more servings of vegetables

• two or more servings of fruit

• three to four servings of dairy products

• two or three servings of protein

After age two, a child needs less fat than an infant—about 30% of daily calories.

After age three, the fibre becomes more important in a child’s diet and can impact future heart health.

At age four to eight, Calcium requirements steadily increase from 500 mg a day at age three to 800 mg a day at.

For calcium to be absorbed by the body, it must also have sufficient amounts of vitamins C, D and A. In addition to food sources, an hour of sunshine each day can also provide a child with his/her daily vitamin D requirement.

Kids nutrition

Children six to twelve years of age

By the time children reach age five or six, they begin to tell parents what foods they like. Parents and those who care for the children can help select foods from each recommended group that a child will enjoy. Calorie requirements and portion sizes increase as children get older: between ages six and ten, boys and girls need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories each day.

Because of puberty and adolescent growth, between ages 10 and 12, girls need about 200 more calories a day. Boys will begin needing about 500 more calories a day after age 12.

The following servings per day are recommended for children ages six to twelve:

• six to 11 servings of grains

• three to five servings of vegetables

• two to four servings of fruit

• three or four servings of dairy products

• two or three servings of protein

Beginning at age nine, calcium requirements continue to rise, from 800 mg a day at ages four to eight to 1,300 mg each day.

Foods Young Children Should Avoid

Infants and young children tend to have weaker immune systems than adults, which makes food poisoning very dangerous for this age group. By making use of safe food handling and preparation guidelines, you can help reduce the risk of spreading food poisoning.

Avoid:

• All unpasteurized foods and beverages, including raw milk and unpasteurized juice and ciders

• Raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs

• Raw or undercooked meat and poultry

• Raw and undercooked fish or shellfish

• Raw sprouts

• Honey, until after the baby’s first birthday because it can harbour spores of toxic bacterium that can cause botulism, a severe foodborne illness caused by a bacterium which occurs in soil.

10 Tips For Child Nutrition

Kids nutrition

1. Teach the importance of good nutrition, and help your children establish healthy eating habits. The more your child understands about nutrition, the more excited he will be about eating healthy.

2. Choose fresh foods over highly processed foods.

3. How you cook and prepare foods can affect the nutritional value. For example, try grilling, steaming, baking, or broiling vegetables instead of frying or boiling them.

4. Drink water or low-fat milk instead of sugary, sweetened drinks.

5. Different foods provide different nutrients, so make sure your child gets a good variety of fruits and vegetables.

6. Encourage children to take their time while eating and to chew well.

7. Make meal and snack periods a time for sitting down – don’t allow children to lay or run and play while eating and drinking.

8. Oils are not a food group, yet some, like nut oils, have vital nutrients and can be included in the diet. Animal fats are solid fats and should be avoided.

9. Exercise and everyday physical activity should also be included with a healthy dietary plan.

10. Find nutritious foods that children enjoy, For example, try fruit for dessert.

Check out my favourite Peanut Butter healthy Deserts recipes

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar