Posts Tagged "Nutrition"

29Sep2021

A good diet is incredibly important for growing children. It ensures that they’re not only able to grow, but that they also receive the fuel that they need to meet the challenges of growing up. While you can certainly make dining decisions for your children when they are very young, things become more complex as they get older. As such, it’s essential to start talking to your children about making healthy eating choices.

Starting Healthy Eating Habits as Children

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that healthy eating isn’t about how someone looks. Don’t bring up issues like weight with your child when you talk about eating healthy. Instead, focus on his or her health as it relates to how he or she eats. With younger children, it might be essential to talk about strong bones or a healthy heart. With older children, though, it might be best to talk about how they feel after they eat certain things.

Above all else, this process is about helping your child to understand that he or she will have to make choices. Don’t talk about completely eliminating desserts or going on diets; instead, talk to your child about how it’s important to practice moderation with certain kinds of treats. Helping your child to understand that eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up the things he or she loves can be a great way to help make the lesson stick.

Don’t forget to involve your child in helping to make healthy meal choices. For example, let your child help the family’s shopping list and discuss why you choose certain items instead of others. If you can get your child involved with his or her own diet early on, he or she will find it much easier to eat healthy when he or she is out on his or her own. The groundwork you lay now can lead to a healthier future for your child.

23Apr2021

Many children are picky eaters as they often seem to have more sensitive tastebuds than many adults do. As your children grow, you may very well find that they become less picky over time and that they are more willing to try new cuisines, unique condiments, and different fruits and vegetables. Until that time, here are some tips for getting your picky child the nutrition that he needs.

  1. Be a Good Role Model

It may seem obvious, but your child will not be motivated to try different foods if you display the same sort of pickiness. Show your child firsthand how tasty it is to try new foods and flavors.

  1. Schedule Regular Meals and Snacks

When your child is overly hungry or thirsty, he is not motivated to eat healthy foods. Sticking to a routine will keep your child from filling up on processed, sugary treats.

  1. Stay Away From Pressure, Threats, and Rewards

Although these options may work initially, they eventually lose their effectiveness as your child no longer wants to eat anything without being rewarded. This teaches independence and healthy, lifelong eating habits.

  1. Try One New Thing at a Time

Instead of serving a meal filled with new foods, offer mainly foods that you know your child will enjoy along with one new food to try to limit overwhelming sensations.

  1. Let Your Child Take Only One Bite

Tell your child that he only has to take one bite of a new food. If your child does not like the food, try it again in a few weeks.

  1. Listen to Your Child’s Appetite

Trust that your child knows when he is hungry, thirsty, or full.

Keep in mind that it is best to make mealtimes family times. Instead of serving your child a different meal from the rest of his family members, remember that you are the one who chooses what foods and drinks are put out on the table. It is your child’s job to decide whether he will eat and how much food will be cleaned up on his plate. Over time, you will find these picky eating habits falling by the wayside as you follow these tips. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, growth or development, do not hesitate to contact a trusted provider at Kids 1st Pediatrics today.

29Mar2021

When you think about nutrition for your children, you are probably most concerned about limiting sugar and ensuring that your children are maintaining healthy weights. Even though your child’s bone health has probably not made it to the top of your list of concerns, this is the single most important time in your child’s life for building healthy bones. In fact, almost all of their bone mass is built by the end of their teenage years. The bone built during these beginning years will be used throughout the rest of their lives.

Nutritious Yet Delicious Foods

Now that you know just how important it is to focus on your children’s bone health, you may be wondering how they can ensure their bodies have what they need to create stronger and more resilient bones. Your first concern will certainly be nutrition. The most important vitamins include vitamin D and vitamin K. Of course, many minerals are also vital, with calcium and magnesium quickly coming to the forefront of the nutrition discussion.

Most parents know about the importance of calcium, but your children may not be interested in eating many naturally calcium-rich foods, such as cheese, yogurt, and leafy greens. Thankfully, many foods that kids do love, such as breakfast cereals, milk, and juice, are typically fortified with calcium along with vitamin D, which is necessary for your children’s bodies to make full use of the calcium they consume.

Physical Activity & Exercise

However, while good nutrition is vital for the growth of healthy bones throughout childhood, regular physical activity also plays a major role. High-impact exercises that put plenty of pressure on the bones actually help the bones grow stronger. Encourage energetic games and sports, particularly those that include jumping, such as jump rope, basketball, and volleyball. Even a high-energy family dance party counts as a bone-building exercise.

In addition to these tips, you will also want to encourage your child to stay away from soda and processed foods. Consuming these foods and drinks will actually strip bone material as the body will use bone cells to get the nutrients it needs. Instead, focus on good fats, such as avocados and nuts.

Kids 1st Pediatrics is here to help your child stay strong and healthy all the way through the teenage years. Schedule an appointment today for an annual physical or to discuss any concerns that you may have about your child’s health.

5Feb2021

Too much snacking may have long been a problem for your family, or it may be a problem that recently popped up as your children are spending more time at home these days. Virtual schooling and lack of additional activities mean that your children may be getting bored and turning to snack on calorie-dense foods as a way to pass the time. If you are concerned about your children’s snacking habits, follow these tips to help them make healthier choices.

Stick to a Healthy Schedule

Children thrive with schedules because they love knowing what to expect. Not sticking to a schedule when it comes to mealtimes can leave your children guessing as to when they will next eat and feeling more tempted to fill their bellies with snacks between meals. Older children should not go more than four hours between meals or snacks, and younger children should not have to wait any longer than three hours.

Purchase Healthy Snacks

With their smaller stomachs and faster metabolisms, children will need snacks occasionally, such as between lunch and supper if you tend to eat later in the evening. Instead of opting for calorie-dense snacks, such as chips and cookies that are not very nutritious, purchase such options as Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and fresh veggies with dip or hummus.

Keep Your Children Hydrated

Just like adults, children may think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Encourage your children to stay hydrated all day long by investing in a refillable water bottle that they can grab whenever they want.

Give Yourself and Your Children Grace

No matter how hard you try to limit junk foods in your children’s lives, there are going to be days when you are pressed for time or not paying as much attention as you would like. Give yourself and your children grace for that day, and try to get back to healthy habits tomorrow.

Even though not every day is going to go exactly as you wanted it to, you can set your children up for snacking success by planning for the inevitable. By having nutrient-dense foods on hand and even by encouraging them to become more active, you can help children create healthy habits that will stick for a lifetime. For more help with these and other pediatric concerns, reach out to Kids 1st Pediatrics for professional advice.