Among the most overlooked aspect of child care is nutrition. Adequate nutrition is a crucial foundation for a child’s overall wellbeing, and IQ scores are heavily dependent on a child’s intake in their first five years. However, parents are usually preoccupied with the problems of daily life that a child’s nutritional balance has not been considered thoroughly. Read on below to find out the six considerations to take when planning for a child’s nutritional intake.
Aside from mental and intellectual development, a child’s nutritional intake is crucial for them from 12 months to 5 years. As a child experience their growth spurt, professional help should pay special attention to their dietary needs. The Child Care Pros, a Childcare service in Boston, takes pride in being a specialist in this aspect of a child’s growth.
Toddlers will require variety in their diet:
Breastmilk is still best for babies. But once they reach the transition stage, around 12 to 14 months, it is helpful that children are introduced gradually to table food. Growth slows a bit, but nutrition should still be a top priority for parents at this stage of a child’s development. At this stage, children are weaned away from using bottles and trained to eat and drink independently.
How much food do they need? Exactly.
Depending on their age and size, toddlers will require between 1000 to 1400 calories. Qualified child care professionals keep a definitive chart for the best nutritional guides for toddlers. Nutritional intake is all about average, and you don’t have to worry if your child tends to eat less, especially at ages two years old and above. You may need to consult a pediatrician for a more definitive guide or detect some deviation in a child’s food intake. Again, it is helpful if qualified professionals oversee this matter.
Children are very active, and attention to a child’s bone structure is very crucial. Children ages 12 months to 24 months will require 700 milligrams of calcium and 600 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D. Children are usually receive two servings of daily products a day. However, this can only provide half the required intake of Vitamin D. Pediatricians and professionals usually give Vitamin D supplements to support this need.
There are cases when children reject cow’s milk because of their unfamiliarity with its taste. A mixture of breastmilk with cow’s milk is usually recommended in phases until cow’s milk is 100%. Another set of special cases cover obesity, and special attention should be paid to the child’s milk intake. Most importantly, some children outright reject milk entirely. Substitute food to make up for the lack of milk intake should be enough to make up for the need for children’s calcium and Vitamin D requirements. Without proper professional attention, the crucial matter of nutritional intake regarding milk and its possible substitute might have long-term side effects on the child.
Toddlers should receive 7 milligrams of iron every day. Iron is crucial for healthy blood and is helpful for a child’s organs to function well. However, cow’s milk has low iron content, and drinking too much cow’s milk will make a child so full that they won’t eat much of anything else. For children, cereals can be a good source of iron. That being said, a balanced diet will require children to take less milk to make way for an iron-rich diet.
About Fruit Juice
Fruit juice has customarily been considered a substitute for whole fruits, which should not be the case. Pasteurized fruit juices can support hydration and contain substantial doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Potassium. However, excessive intake contributes to health problems such as obesity, the formation of dental caries, and gastrointestinal issues. AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends limiting daily 100% fruit juice consumption to 6-6 oz for 1 to 6-year-old children. Eating whole fruits is still more highly recommended than fruit juice for children.
Carbohydrates take up 45% to 65% of the total calorie intake for toddlers. Children are very active, and not paying attention to carbohydrate intake may make them less energetic to take on the things they do for the whole day. Total fiber intake for 1 to 3-year-old children is recommended to be around 19g a day, and 25 grams of fiber for four-year-olds. Carbohydrate intake, among other nutrients, should be closely watched. Having professional support, such as those provided by The Child Care Experts, can play a crucial role in making parents worry-free on their children’s nutritional needs.