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Hints for Better Child Nutrition


· Source information from a variety of places and always look for factual evidence that supports comments and opinions

· Variety is everything. A diet that lacks variety will invariably lack some nutrients

· Parents and care-givers are the sources of nutritional habits and preferences. Children don’t always do as you say, but toddlers do love to do what you do!

· Help children to feel involved in food choices and meal preparation. This stimulates an interest in different foods and in cooking and will provide a foundation for a healthy relationship with food.

· Don’t introduce nutrient poor, calorie dense foods to babies and toddlers. What they don’t know about, they won’t want. Spend the first years of children’s lives surrounding them with a variety of healthy foods.

· Ensure children are well hydrated. Don’t wait until they ask for a drink, offer them water regularly.

· Small frequent meals are often better for young children. Don’t serve large portions or force children to clean their plates.

· Fat is important in children’s diets. Until at least the age of two, keep dairy products full fat.

· Get creative. Use cookies cutters to make interesting shapes with fruits, vegetables and sandwiches.

· Use different textures, temperatures and flavours.

· Persist with new foods but don’t force children to eat what they truly dislike.

· Work hard early on to establish healthy habits and preferences, this lays a foundation which can help parents deal with the later impact of fast food advertising and peer pressure.

· Remember that poor nutrition can lead to illness, increased risk of a variety of diseases, lethargy, poor cognitive ability, behavioural problems and a variety of other conditions.

Article by Staff of ACS Distance Education

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