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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

IS MY CHILD GETTING THE NUTRIENTS THEY NEED?

Picky Eaters
Vitamins and minerals are crucial to the development of a body. Although there is high importance in obtaining vitamins and minerals, the actual amount of each vitamin and mineral needed is relatively small. Because of this we can usually get the adequate amount from a regular diet. This is easier for middle aged children, some teens and adults (since we know the importance of it and like a larger variety of foods) but sometimes this can be difficult for young children. Why? Babies naturally develop sweet taste buds in the womb and this continues after birth. Their pallet is influenced by what mom eats since those aromas and flavors are passed on during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It's important to introduce a variety of foods during pregnancy, breastfeeding and early on in a child's life to help your child become an open-minded eater. It's also important to introduce new foods several times. Don't give up after just a few tries. 

But what if your child isn't an open-minded eater? 


Because of this pull towards sweets, children may shy away from bitter foods and some may become very picky eaters. They may also go through phases where they only eat a certain food or food group. For example, my niece was a very picky eater around the age of 18 months. She went through a phase where she ate Easy Mac every day. Its all she wanted and its really all she did eat. My sister worried that she wasn't getting the adequate nutrition she needed. I think many parents worry about this same thing. Many kids go through a phase like this but when it comes down to it the phase won't last long and there really won't be any long term negative affects. A child knows when they are hungry, they won't starve themselves and they want to be in control of their diet. Giving them a choice between 2 healthy options is a good way to engage your child in eating instead of asking them what they want. The options there are endless and they will always choose something sweeter or unhealthy. Despite all of the tips and tricks to ensure good nutrition some parents may still feel concern for their child's long term nutrition. If that's the case its important to talk to your pediatrician. They may recommend giving your child a supplement to ensure his or her development. There are chew-able vitamins available and other drink supplements that your kids will like that can give them adequate nutrients and give you peace of mind. 

Click here for info on vitamins and supplements for kids

Here are some facts about vitamins and which foods you can find them in. 


Vitamin A promotes normal growth, healthy skin, and tissue repair, and aids in night and color vision. Rich sources include yellow vegetables, and dairy products.
The B vitamins promote red blood cell formation and assist in a variety of metabolic activities. They are found in meat, poultry, fish, soybeans, milk, eggs, whole grains, and enriched breads and cereals.
Vitamin C strengthens connective tissue, muscles, and skin, hastens the healing of wounds and bones, and increases resistance to infection. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and broccoli.
Vitamin D promotes tooth and bone formation and regulates the absorp­tion of minerals like calcium. Sources include fortified dairy products, fish oils, fortified margarine, and egg yolks. Sunlight also contributes to dietary sources of vitamin D, stimulating the conversion of a naturally occurring compound in the skin to an active form of the vitamin.

The What to Expect website has a great article called "Toddler Eating Habits: A Few Golden Rules" This is a great resource to encourage healthy eating habits in your children. 


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