Parents deal with a number of struggles when it comes to nutrition in their children’s diet.
The recent attention on the epidemic of childhood obesity has given rise to a number of different programs, from the Let’s Move initiative that was given voice to by Michelle Obama to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution television show that highlights negative aspects in lunches served to children in schools in the United States.
While all parents can agree that they want their children to be healthy, parents with small children understand how difficult it can be to ensure their child is eating the right amount of nutrients.
As a parent, it can be heartbreaking to see your child refusing to eat and frustrating to fight with your toddler during mealtime. Oftentimes mealtimes become getting anything into your children’s stomach that they will actually be willing to eat.
While it can be difficult to deal with the struggles that come with mealtime, giving your children empty calories and giving in to their demands for French fries and chicken nuggets in order to simply get food into their bellies is a mistake. To get a better idea of what the recommended diet is for a child, look to Choose My Plate, which has a breakdown of the different food groups that are essential to a healthy diet for a child.
During routine pediatrician visits, doctors give parents information on the recommended body mass index (BMI) for their child’s age, height and weight. The percentile portion of the numbers is a huge indicator of how your child is fairing in terms of recommended weight.
Many pediatricians give out printed handouts offered through Gerber to help give the basics on what your child should be eating at each stage of his life. Gerber states, “A child with a BMI greater than the 85th percentile (but less than the 95th percentile) for age and sex is considered overweight; when a BMI is at or above the 95th percentile, he is considered obese.”
If your picky eater is not getting the nutrients he or she needs in the food you serve, you may want to consider providing a multivitamin. The Nutritional Supplement Educational Center states, “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a daily multivitamin for children with poor appetites, erratic eating habits or special nutritional needs.”
A popular multivitamin supplement for toddlers is Poly-Vi-Sol, offered by Enfamil. The website describes it as, “Specifically designed to provide additional nutrients during growth spurts, the transition to solid foods and for picky eaters.” The supplement offers vitamins A, C and D, eight different essential vitamins and minerals and is free of gluten.
A liquid multivitamin can be a much better alternative to the gummy version because many dentists recommend against gummy vitamins because of the negative effects they can have on the teeth.
Besides an actual vitamin supplement, there are other liquid nutritional supplements that can help fill in the gaps in your child’s diet.
A popular item chosen by many parents is PediaSure Sidekicks. This is a liquid shake that is intended for children between the ages of one and 13 years of age. It contains protein, fiber, 25 vitamins and minerals and comes in three different flavors. While it won’t take the place of actually giving fruits and vegetables to your child, it can help fill in some of the nutritional gaps during those difficult mealtimes.
Just as you might worry about your child getting hurt on the playground, worrying about whether or not they are eating healthy is a big part of a parent’s life. Taking that extra step in providing nutritional supplements for your child can not only help your child’s diet but it can offer peace of mind.