Healthy Eating For Children & Teens

Healthy Eating For Children & Teens

Healthy Eating For Children & Teens
Nutrition is important for healthy child development. Encourage healthy eating by teaching your child or teen correct portion sizes, healthy snacks and the importance of the five food groups. Avoid giving your child food that is high in calories, saturated fats and added salt and sugar. Find out if your child needs vitamins or supplements. While some weight fluctuation is normal, it could point to an eating disorder ir your child becomes overweight or underweight. Involve your child in preparing healthy recipes for the whole family. Learn more about healthy eating and healthy living for your child with expert advice from Sharecare.

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    While degenerative bone disease often doesn’t show up until adulthood, it is during childhood that diet choices can help keep your child’s bones strong for life. Dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese) are an excellent source of several nutrients (i.e. calcium, vitamin D, and protein, among others) that bones need for optimal development. The more thoroughly bone is built early, the longer it will last in adulthood.
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    A , Pediatrics, answered
    If your baby is still nursing, you can offer whole milk in a cup and wean from breastfeeding as you desire. If she is on formula, just switch to regular whole milk. Many 1-year-olds will do fine with the abrupt transition, but if you or she prefer, you can mix the formula and whole milk to slowly transition her to the new, cold taste in a few days. Ideally your child will drink cold milk straight from the refrigerator in a cup. But if she is currently hooked on a bottle, you can switch her to the taste of whole milk in the bottle first, then a few weeks later, get rid of the bottle and use a cup.

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    A , Pediatrics, answered
    It was previously recommended that all 1- to 2-year-olds receive whole milk. Experts felt that extra fat was needed for brain development and growth at that age. More recently, because of the increase in childhood obesity and the high-fat diet that many toddlers eat, 2% milk was also deemed fine for this age group.

    Check with your pediatrician, but for most toddlers, I often stick with whole milk at least until 18 months and then, depending on how they are growing and what else they are eating, switch to 2% milk by 2 years of age. As part of a low-fat, balanced diet, after 2 years of age, most kids (and parents as well) should make their way to nonfat milk.

    Nonfat milk has the exact same calcium and nutrients as 1%, 2%, and whole milk, but with each percent there is just extra fat (think of pats of butter) stirred in.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Simply switching from whole milk to low-fat or fat-free milk without making any other changes can help kids shed extra pounds without them noticing. Just do the math:
    • If your child drinks two cups of whole milk a day and switches to low-fat milk, he would trim 420 calories a week and lose a pound about every eight weeks.
    • If your teen drinks three cups of reduced-fat milk and switches to fat-free milk, she would trim 630 calories a week and a pound about every five weeks.
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    Most experts agree that the best time to switch from whole milk to low fat is when your little one turns 2, at which point the extra fat found in whole milk is no longer needed.

    Children ages 2 to 8 should get two servings of milk products a day. Both low-fat and fat-free milk will provide the same calcium and vitamin D without the additional fat and calories.

    Since cholesterol and obesity can be a problem even in childhood, the switch is a good one for heart health and weight management.
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    A Pediatrics, answered on behalf of
    It is recommended that children up to age 8 get 800 mg of calcium per day. It is actually more important to look at how much dairy your child has versus how much actual milk they drink per day. One cup of milk, which is 8 oz, has about 300 mg of calcium. A serving of yogurt has about 300 mg of calcium. So if most children eat a couple of servings of cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, then they only need a couple of cups of milk a day.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Here are some quick tips help your kids warm up to milk:
    • Lose the fat over time. Work kids down the milk-fat chain in gradual steps. If they are used to whole milk, switch to reduced fat milk. After a month or so, switch to low-fat milk. When they are used to that type, step down again to fat-free milk.
    • Milk it at meals. Serve low-fat or fat-free milk at every meal and snack -- that is an easy way to get in three servings a day.
    • Refuel with milk. When kids are on the go, have them grab a carton or box of low-fat or fat-free milk instead of a soft drink.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Milk is one of the best sources of calcium and vitamin D -- two nutrients that most kids don’t come close to getting enough of. Both calcium and vitamin D help kids develop strong bones and teeth. Milk and milk products also seem to play a role in preventing heart disease and hypertension. As for weight loss, milk doesn’t seem to prevent childhood obesity, but the type of milk that kids drink can play a big part in determining whether they are at a healthy weight.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Like plain milk, chocolate milk and other flavored milks provide nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, phosphorous, protein, and riboflavin. However, in addition to the natural sugar (lactose) in all milk, flavored milks also have added sugar. On average, an eight-ounce serving of low-fat milk contains about four teaspoons of added sugar. To put this in perspective, an equivalent amount of soft drink contains seven teaspoons of added sugar but no healthy nutrients. Flavored milk comes in all different fat versions: whole, reduced-fat, low-fat, and fat-free. Because of the added sugar, all flavored milk will provide more calories than their unflavored counterpart. For example, low-fat chocolate milk has 155 calories, whereas plain low-fat milk has about 120 calories. As they work toward a healthy weight, kids would therefore be better off drinking unflavored milk. On the other hand, an occasional glass of flavored milk would be a better choice than a soft drink or no milk at all.
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    The current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) daily value for adults and children four years old and up for vitamin A is 5,000 IU (1,500 micrograms retinol activity equivalents [RAE]). However, the tolerable upper intake level for children ages 1 to 3 is 600 microgram RAE per day. For children ages 3 to 8, this level is 900 microgram RAE per day. These upper intake limits apply to preformed vitamin A only (such as retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate). They do not  apply to vitamin A precursor carotenoids which are naturally found in various vegetables.