The Rules of Child Nutrition
Join a discussion about growth and development by Dr. Hands, who presents all that any parent would like to know about any health concern during the first few years of child's life. This video explains the rules of child nutrition.
The Rules of Child Nutrition
Nutrition in childhood has some definite rules. Usually the child’s appetite markedly
decreases after the first year of life. In fact Doctor Spock used to say in his book, “One
good meal a day, you’re lucky it’s usually breakfast and they also eat the same foods over
and over again.”
We have noticed that for instance the caloric intake of children even though it increases,
it actually decreases proportionally in to the size that they change as they get older. For
instance, a one year old takes a thousand calorie diet, a three year old may take a
thousand calories plus 300 calories and a ten year old is 2000 calories. The calories have
increased but not proportionally to the size of the youngster.
Protein also slightly increases with age but not it relatively is less given the size of the
developing person. The fiber that we like to get in kids is their age plus 5 grams is a good
rule of thumb.
Now, some things to mention about meal time at home. A meal time at home we honor a
child’s preference. They really believe it or not are not interested in color. It’s been
shown that children will choose a drab food like peanut butter over a very colorful food
because it’s really the preference that counts.
They basically like warm but not hot, they like a mild flavor and lumps are a way to get
them not to eat so we recommend that lumpy food to be avoided. And to go along with
the Doctor Spock comments, familiarity is what they love to they love to eat. So we often
have you put several foods on a plate so they get more and more familiar even with the
food they’re not eating so they may recognize them and switch to them.
Meal times can be helped by a little table, geometric design to foods, silly names to
foods, small portions. We often teach kids to participate plan and prepare their meals. We
let them for instance let them learn about vegetables. They do measuring, stirring,
washing, arranging foods. All of these things help them more to enjoy their meals and of
course we avoid power struggles.
Dental caring production is part of nutrition in pediatrics and that’s starts with the Middle
Bottle Syndrome and we tried to avoid the baby sucking on the bottle when they get into
bed so that they coat their teeth with this rich, choleric carbohydrate food.
We’ve already emphasized choking prevention. We can’t reiterate it enough that choking
prevention is a major way that we try to counsel people on nutrition avoiding definitely
those foods that can lead to choking. We also ask the parents not to have the kids sit
when they eat and not run around which is a concern.
We avoid peanuts, popcorn, whole grapes, cherries, beans, hotdog pieces in the young,
candies of course and raw celery and cereal.
Now, I have a few tables to hold up that I think would be absolutely informative to you a
little about nutrition. I must say that this subject alone merits tremendous discussion. But
giving you as a little insight into a pediatric perspective is what we’re trying to do on this
Now, the first table that you will see is only an informative table but something you
should refer to and become familiar with. The first table is the Food Pyramid. The Food
Pyramid is the backbone of every selection of feeding on all children. And what they do
is they divide it up into servings related to groups. The groups are milk groups, meat
groups, fruit groups, vegetable group and grain groups and then those groups or servings
rather are proportion for each age group.
Now, the second chart that we’re going to put up, I think you’ll find very interesting also.
This is a chart on healthful snack ideas. These are snack ideas where we think food
groups alone and combination and you’ll notice we have it divided into grain products,
vegetables, fruits, meats and meat alternatives and then milk and milk products. These are
great ideas for snacks. They are healthy food. They’re a way of avoiding empty calories.
Now another very interesting question asked to the office is on this next chart and that is
what — and this is a little older than the age group we’ve talked to for now but I think
with all the kids going to school, it’s very important and that is, what do we do with
This chart that we’re holding up now divides the schools into pre-school which is one and
two, age three and four and then you can notice that we included grade school even
though that’s not the main emphasis of this DVD with Kindergartens through third and
on. And you’ll notice the suggestions in the meat and meat alternative group, the
vegetable or fruit and the bread and bread alternative group. And this chart describes
servings and amounts. These charts can be found in various places but this is an extreme
help to give you guidelines on often asked but not easily answered question, “What
should I feed my child emphasize feeding the child in school?”
The Rules of Child Nutrition
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