Nutritional Needs for Children

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Because children are constantly growing, it is vital that they have their nutritional needs met daily. All kids may go a few days with some nutritional needs left wanting, but these days should be few and far between. If your child’s nutritional needs are continually not met, he may struggle both with development now and his later health. When planning your child’s menu, keep in mind which components you should include to ensure her optimal health.


Calorie Needs

A child’s age plays a large part in determining how many calories he needs to stay in fighting shape. As the American Heart Association reports, 1-year-olds should consume approximately 900 calories a day; children between the ages of 2 and 3, around 1,000; children between 4 and 8, somewhere in the range of 1,200; children between 9 and 13 around 1,600; and children between the ages of 13 and 18, 1,800. These values may vary depending on your child’s gender and level of physical activity.

Balanced Eating

The most nutritionally sound thing you can do for your child is to plan a balanced diet for her. All children should eat a balanced diet. This diet should follow the food pyramid and consist of servings of grain, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meats. By feeding your child a balanced menu, you can decrease the likelihood that she develops a deficiency in any of the vitamins and minerals that she requires for proper growth and development.

Power-Packed Protein

Protein, most of which your child will obtain through meat, is vital in the diet of a growing kid. As MedlinePlus reports, the human body uses protein to fuel blood cells, making circulation possible and allowing for the growth and development of bones and muscles. To prepare a diet that packs a protein punch, include an assortment of lean meats as well as nuts and eggs, all of which are rich in this vital nutrient.

Limiting Fat Intake

Fat is one element that parents should focus on keeping out of a child’s diet as much as possible. As KeepKidsHealthy reports, no more than 30 percent of a child’s diet should come from fat. If your kid is a fan of fast food, he is likely getting a much larger dose of this unhealthy dietary element than that.

Sipping Sensibly

Keep your kid hydrated without derailing your proper eating plans. Encourage him to sip away on healthy drink options. Offer him water and milk as much as possible. These drinks hydrate your child without eating up a chunk of his available daily calories.

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