Guilford child development nutrition tips

Fiber is a carbohydrate component of plant foods that is usually un-digestible. It is found in foods like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, cereals, brown rice, beans, seeds and nuts. In adults, increased fiber has been linked with a reduction of chronic gastrointestinal problems, including colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. In children, however, fiber’s only proven benefit is its ability to ease constipation—providing bulk that can promote regular frequency of bowel movements, soften the stools, and decrease the time it takes food to travel through the intestines. However, since food preferences and eating habits may be established early in life, and since high-fiber foods contain other nutrients, parents should include these foods in children’s daily diets.


Bear in mind, however, that red meat and shellfish are not only rich in protein and an important source of iron, but are high in fat and/or cholesterol, as well. Thus, your child should consume them only in moderate amounts. Select lean cuts of meat and trim the fat before cooking. Likewise, remove skin from poultry and excess fat from fish before serving. Fat

However, high fat intake—particularly a diet high in saturated fats—can cause problems. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperatures and are found in fatty meats (such as beef, pork, ham, veal and lamb) and many dairy products (whole milk, cheese, and ice cream). They can contribute to the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques and lead to coronary artery disease later in life. A diet rich in saturated fats also can increase blood cholesterol, particularly in people who have inherited a tendency toward high cholesterol levels.

For that reason, after age two, children should be served foods that are lower in fat and saturated fats. Chances are that your child‘s favorite foods are higher in fat than is desirable. Prudent eating means relying more on low-fat, low-cholesterol foods like poultry, fish and lean meat (broiled, baked, or roasted – not fried), soft margarine (instead of butter), low-fat dairy products, and low-saturated-fat oils from vegetables, while limiting egg consumption.

As a general guideline, fats should make up less than 30 percent of the calories in your child‘s diet, with no more than about one third or less of those fat calories coming from saturated fat, and the remainder from unsaturated (that is, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated) fats, which are liquid at room temperature and include vegetable oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean and olive. Some parents find the information about various types of fat confusing. In general, oils and fats derived from animal origin are saturated. The simplest place to start is merely to reduce the amount of fatty foods of all types in your family’s diet. Sugar

Keep your child’s sugar consumption at moderate levels. Sugar has plenty of calories, but dietitians often call them empty calories because they have very little additional nutritional value. Even so, many children consume sugar in great quantities, usually at the expense of healthier foods—that is, when youngsters drink sodas, they are usually leaving the milk in the refrigerator; when they eat a brownie, they may be overlooking the bowl of fruit, a good source of complex carbohydrates, on the kitchen table. Salt

Raw vegetables are mostly too difficult for toddlers to manage, and some—carrots, whole cherry tomatoes, whole green beans, celery—are a serious choking hazard for toddlers. But there’s no reason that a toddler shouldn’t enjoy well-cooked vegetables cut into manageable pieces. Big chunks of any food and glob-like spoon-fulls of peanut butter are hazardous and should not be given to children younger than 4 years The same advice is just as important for any types of nuts, peanuts or popcorn, because children aren’t able to grind food and reduce it to a consistency safe for swallowing. Chunks of peanut butter can stick to their palate and end up choking them. For More Information