Proper nutrition is a critical part of keeping your children healthy, but many parents may find that there is nearly a dizzying array of food options for kids. Knowing what to feed, when to feed it, and what size portions to provide your child can be challenging, so the pediatricians at Pediatrics of Mansoor Pediatrics in Alexandria are ready to help. A healthy child is a happy child, and nutrition can be the start of that. Make an appointment online or call the Pediatrics of Mansoor Pediatrics office to get help with children’s nutrition anytime.
When can your child drink cow’s milk?
Doctors typically recommend that you give your child cow’s milk only after they’re 12 months or older. During your child’s first year of life, they need all of the nutrients in breastmilk or formula. Until your child turns two, use full fat cow’s milk. After the age of two, you can switch to any type of cow’s milk.
What about fruit juice?
It’s very easy to give children too much fruit juice. In fact, juice adds extra calories without much nutritional benefit.
Your child should have no more than two small (two ounce) servings of fruit juice daily until age six. From 7-12, kids can have a total of 8-12 ounces of juice a day. Whole fruits are always better for your child than fruit juice because they have fiber that fills your child up and contains more nutrients.
Is snacking okay for children?
Snacking is fine as long as you monitor and control it. Many children ask for food every three to four hours. Instead of telling your child no, allow them to choose from healthy low-calorie options like raw veggies or a piece of fruit, especially if their next meal is coming up in an hour or two.
If your next meal is at least three to four hours away, put together a well-balanced snack that fills your child up but still allows them to eat at mealtime. Some good options for snacks can include:
Cheese, crackers, and meat like turkey breast
A sliced apple and a small amount of yogurt
A small cup of milk and a slice of toast
Is your child overweight?
If you’re concerned about your child’s weight, please speak to a pediatrician at Pediatrics of Mansoor Pediatrics to get advice and support. Your pediatrician can track your child’s weight history and use height and weight charts to determine whether there is a cause for concern at this time.
If your child is overweight, your pediatrician can help you create a meal plan that adheres to the food pyramid. This meal plan ensures that your child gets the nutrients they need without going hungry. Your pediatrician can also help you implement lifestyle changes in your home such as family exercise activities.
Need help with your child’s weight, diet, or overall nutrition? Use the online appointment tool or call Pediatrics of Mansoor Pediatrics for help now.