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Tips for Healthy Eating for Kids
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Toddlers tend to appreciate feeding themselves, first with fingers and then with
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Tips for Healthy Eating for Kids
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Hi I'm Dr. Danelle Fisher, Board Certified Pediatrician with www.WestchesterPeds.com and I'm here today for About.com to talk to you about making sure your child eats right.Healthy eating is important from infancy throughout childhood and will set up good habits into adulthood.Let's talk about how to make sure your child eats right at all ages, in order to prevent weight problems and lead to good overall health. Infants are fed mainly breast milk or formula for the first 6 months of life, with solid foods being introduced between 4-6 months of age. The main food groups when introducing solids are cereal grains including rice, oatmeal and barley, vegetables and fruits. Eventually as teeth emerge, the infant should be offered varying textures and more ingredients including proteins. Infants do not need any added sugar or salt to meals and should concentrate on fresh ingredients or jarred food made for infants with little or no additives.Toddlers tend to appreciate feeding themselves, first with fingers and then with utensils like a spoon or fork. They should be offered 16-24 ounces a day of whole milk or a suitable equivalent if they have a cow's milk allergy such as soy milk, rice milk or almond milk. The toddler diet should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many toddlers are picky eaters and refuse vegetables. If your toddler refuses veggies, make sure they get plenty of fruit and whole grains in their diet. Toddlers often eat small amounts throughout the day rather than less frequent, bigger meals. This is a healthy way to eat and should not be discouraged.As with any age group, try to avoid an excess of starchy foods, juices, foods containing high fructose corn syrup, fried foods and sodas or sports drinks. School-aged children should be offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and 8-16 ounces a day of low-fat milk or an equivalent if allergic to cow's milk. Kids in this age group should be included in food shopping and meal preparation.It's important as a family to try to have regular mealtimes and eat together as a family as much as possible. Cooking is almost always healthier than eating out, especially when you are eating fast food. Teenagers need to eat healthy as much as their younger counterparts. Remind them that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and provide healthy options. Make sure to keep healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables available after school and during sports practices or other after school activities. Continue regular family meals cooked at home as much as possible. Healthy eating habits in children can last a lifetime. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child's eating habits and remember to eat healthy for yourself, too.
Thanks for watching. For more information visit us online at About.com.
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