FAQs About Children’s Nutrition

August 31, 2023

children's nutrition

Your children’s nutrition and diet are vital to their health, growth, and development. Certain foods are superior when it comes to fueling our bodies and staying healthy. But sometimes, it can be difficult to identify which ones are best for your child. Their diet can affect their physical, mental, social, and emotional health. It is important to look at the healthy eating patterns of a child and pay attention to the foods they eat.

Children’s Nutrition FAQs

Proper nutrition is essential to the healthy growth and development of children. Here at Holly Springs Pediatrics, we understand there are often many questions surrounding you about what your child should be eating and how much. That’s why we have put together a list of frequently asked questions about children’s nutrition.

#1. What Should My Child Be Eating?

Starting the journey of parenthood can sometimes feel like venturing into the unknown. You’ve been responsible for fueling your own body for quite some time, but what about when it comes to your little one? The National Health Service suggests that your child needs to eat a variety of foods, including

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, and other starchy foods
  • Milk and dairy, or dairy alternatives
  • Beans, fish, eggs, meat, and other proteins
  • Whole milk, full-fat yogurt, cheese, and other healthy fat sources

It is important to remember that what your child should be eating can vary depending on your child’s age, overall health, activity levels, and dietary needs. 

#2. How Much Should My Child Be Eating?

Just as what my child should be eating, the answer to how much my child should be eating can vary greatly. Children’s nutrition depends on a variety of factors, but general guidelines suggest the following

  • Infants: Infants may consume varying amounts of breast milk or formula at each feeding.
  • Toddlers: Toddlers need about 1,000-1,400 calories per day. Portions are usually about ¼ to ½ of an adult-sized portion.
  • Preschoolers: Preschoolers need about 1,200-1,800 calories per day. Portions are usually about ½ to ¾ of an adult-sized portion.
  • School-age children: School-age children need about 1,800-2,600 calories per day. Portions are usually about ¾ to 1 full adult-sized portion.

As your child ages, it is important to have them listen to their bodies and their own personal hunger cues. 

#3. How Do I Encourage Healthy Eating?

With the numerous options for food, it can be difficult to make the right choices. But it is important to reinforce healthy eating habits in your children from a young age. Some of the best ways to do this include

  • Lead by example and eat healthy yourself
  • Involve your child in meal preparation and grocery shopping
  • Have family meals and make them a positive experience
  • Help your child listen to their body

Your child’s nutrition plays a large role in their development and overall well-being. With that said, encouraging them to eat healthy is of the utmost importance. 

#4. What Are Common Food Allergies In Children?

It is estimated that 32 million Americans have food allergies. This includes 5.6 million children under the age of 18. With this type of prevalence, it is important to be aware of some of the most common food allergies in children. Eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts are among some of the most common food allergies. In most circumstances, your child’s nutrition will not suffer if they are allergic to one of these foods. 

#5. Do Children Need Vitamins Or Supplements?

Typically, a healthy and balanced diet can provide children with all the necessary nutrients they require. According to the USDA, children should get one to two cups of fruit and one to three cups of vegetables each day, which should cover their vitamin needs. However, in certain instances, a healthcare professional may suggest supplements or vitamins to fulfill your child’s nutritional requirements.

If you have questions about your children’s nutrition, contact a pediatrician. Holly Springs Pediatrics is committed to providing quality care to your kids at all times. We will always prioritize the health and safety of your family. Call our Holly Springs, NC pediatric office at (919) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment or talk to a staff member.