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Child Nutrition FAQs
There seem to be countless opinions on just about every topic of conversation in 2021. Child nutrition is not an exception. Should children drink milk? Should my child take supplements? These are just a couple of examples of topics that have many different takes.
Our goal at Bright Future Pediatrics is to care for you and your family. We want to keep your child happy and healthy and want to come alongside you to help you care for your child in the best way possible. One way we can help is by breaking down some of these child nutrition questions to help you understand facts from myth and provide you with some guidance on child nutrition best practices.
Is Cow’s Milk Okay for My Child?
This is an extremely common question. Unless your child has a lactose allergy, your child is okay to start drinking milk after they have turned one. Whole milk is best for young children, as the fat in the milk aids in brain development. Cow’s milk in general is packed full of vitamins. One eight-ounce glass contains 25% of the daily recommended value of calcium, 15% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin D, 15% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A, and 8 grams of protein.
When is Snack Time Okay?
Most experts recommend giving your child a snack midway between meals. This is usually a couple of hours after the previous meal and an hour or two before the next meal. It is perfectly normal for your child to want food every few hours and a balanced snack of fruit, vegetables, turkey, or cheese can easily curb hunger and aid in your child’s development.
Is My Child Eating Enough?
As any parent knows, children go through growth spurts. They don’t grow linearly. This means that one day your child can have a huge appetite and eat everything in sight and the next day they may have no appetite at all. This is perfectly normal in children and does not need to be a cause for concern. Experts recommend not forcing your child to finish his or her plate of food, but to help him or her learn to eat until their body is full. Err on the side of putting less than you think your child will eat on the plate and offering leftovers, as opposed to overfilling the plate and requiring that your child clean the plate.
Should I Give My Child Supplements?
Proper vitamin and mineral intake is essential for a growing child. It can be tempting to give a child supplements to make sure their intake is sufficient. However, it is much more beneficial to make sure they are getting their vitamins and minerals through a well-balanced diet.
Some children have deficiencies and/or illnesses that require supplements, and they should definitely be given supplements in those cases. Talk with your pediatrician about the proper steps to take and follow their directions exactly. This section is for those whose children do not have vitamin deficiencies.
Is it Okay for My Child to Eat Sweets?
You’ve heard the old adage, “everything in moderation”, and that most definitely applies to sugar. Experts recommend avoiding sugar altogether for children under 2 years of age, and less than 25 grams of sugar for children ages 2-18 per day, which is about 6 teaspoons. For reference, a typical package of fruit snacks has about 10 grams of sugar.
While there is a time and a place for sweet treats, they should be limited. As parents, it is our job to provide our children with well-balanced, nutritional meals and snacks. When left to their own devices, we can all imagine what our children’s diets would consist of! Children should be provided with a variety of healthy options like fruits, vegetables, meats, and other whole foods. While sweets don’t need to be completely off-limits, they can be limited to just a few times per week or on special occasions. Dessert should be redefined in your family as fruit, yogurt, or other naturally healthy foods, while sweet things like cookies can be reserved for just one to two nights per week.
Bright Future Pediatrics
Come experience the Bright Future difference! As we build a relationship with you and as we get to know each other, we will be able to establish the best course of care for you and your child. At Bright Future Pediatrics, we created a clinic as mothers for mothers. We know what it is like to have a child and what it is like to be a mother, so you can rest assured that we will do all we can to care for your child. We know, at the end of the day, you want your child to be well cared for and healthy.
You have enough on your plate caring for your child. Let us help you through their childhood by keeping them healthy. You deserve a pediatrician who is especially equipped to walk you through the challenges of being a parent, and one who is focused on serving you and your family. Our pediatricians all have you in mind, a heart set on serving, and are trained to handle anything life may throw at you. We are currently accepting new patients, accept most major insurance, can schedule same day appointments, and have Saturday appointment options available as well.
We are a credentialed SoonerCare Medical Health Home and are in the business of helping your child get well and stay well. In addition, all our rooms are sensory sensitive and cleaned with our “Bright and Clean” protocols.
If you have any additional questions about Bright Future Pediatrics, would like to hear more about our mission, or if you would let to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 918-928-5437.