Pediatric nutrition is one of the most important parts of keeping kids healthy. A child’s body requires certain nutrients, such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in order to develop properly, so getting the right amount of these nutrients every day can be difficult if you don’t know what to feed them. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about pediatric nutrition, and how to keep your child healthy through proper feeding and nutrition intake.
What is the best diet for kids?
What diet is best for kids is a question often asked and with so many fad diets, it can be hard to know what the answer is. That being said, it’s always better for your kids if they eat a healthy well-balanced diet because that promotes healthy growth and provides them with all the nutrients they need. The keys are variety and moderation so keep their diets varied by giving them a wide range of foods but try not to overdo it or indulge in sugary treats every day.
There are some pediatric medications that have nutritional components so you will want to review them closely if your child takes medication regularly. For example, there are medications that replace vitamin K which kids require in order for blood clotting mechanisms to work properly.
What are common mistakes parents make when feeding their children?
The first mistake parents often make is not following the instructions given by their doctor. For example, a parent may be told by their doctor that they should limit the number of carbohydrates in their child’s diet and then go on a grapefruit diet or any other trend diets without discussing it with their pediatrician. The doctor might then suggest that the child should take a pediatric medication for diabetes or another condition. Parents also sometimes don’t have enough of an understanding about the relationship between different types of sugars in foods and what those foods can do to affect their children’s blood sugar levels.
What are common nutrients children should be eating?
While pediatric nutrition is different for every child, a diet high in protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin A will usually be enough to prevent malnutrition. For the children with specific dietary needs, there are also pediatric medications that can add or reduce certain nutrients.
However, not everyone agrees on how best to grow healthy children. Your child may need special guidance and care from your pediatrician based on their lifestyle habits and family history. There are a variety of other professionals who can help make decisions about what your child should eat including: dieticians, pharmacists or food scientists. The right plan for each person is different so it’s important for you to explore all of your options with those in the medical field before making a final decision about the nutritional needs of your little one.
How much protein should kids eat?
Protein is an essential nutrient that can help children maintain a healthy body composition, promote muscle and nerve function, boost immune system functioning, maintain bone health, and regulate metabolism. There are no set-in-stone guidelines on how much protein children should consume each day, but the consensus among experts is that protein needs increase as kids grow older. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents get around 25% of their daily calories from protein. This translates to around 58 grams of protein for males and 45 grams for females. But parents should not panic if their kids’ diets are more like 15% or so.
Should kids drink milk?
Brought up since the late 1800s, whether or not children should drink milk has been a subject of debate. Today, pediatricians typically tell parents it’s fine for kids over two years old to drink cow’s milk in limited amounts. What does the scientific community say? What about lactose intolerance?
-Doctors recommend most kids should be able to have cow’s milk once they turn two (if they’re not allergic).
-Lactose intolerance is common and runs in families. More than 75% of the world’s population loses their ability to digest lactose as they age (though symptoms vary widely). Symptoms typically show up after a child is weaned, though they may start later in life when you’re pregnant or have certain medical conditions.
How can parents make sure their kids get enough vitamins and minerals?
It can be a daunting task finding out how much your child needs. A good place to start is the food pyramid which provides a general guideline on how many servings of each food group they need every day, as well as what percentage of their diet should come from fats, carbs, and protein. Along with following the food pyramid, there are other steps you can take. One common mistake that parents make is not giving enough fluids, this includes water and milk (preferably whole) with or without meals. In general it’s advised that a toddler get between 16-24 ounces of fluids each day while infants should drink at least one liter per day. Adults also need at least 64 ounces of fluids per day.
Tips for feeding picky eaters
While it can be difficult to find foods that kids will eat, there are a few key ways you can make the experience more enjoyable. Don’t place too many items on the table at once, and keep distractions away from them while they eat. Also, try offering two foods in succession if they turn down one item, then try something else after another couple of minutes go by. Lastly, don’t give in and serve something unhealthy every time your child says no. It’s important for kids to be able to say no sometimes and learn how picky eating is not a problem as long as healthy food is served most of the time. However, pediatric nutrition specialists recommend having meals where fruits and vegetables make up 50% or more of the plate when possible.