You should now be giving your child homogenized whole cow's milk.
You can also begin to use 2%, low fat, or skim milk instead. Your
child's diet should resemble that of the rest of the families, with 3
meals and 2 nutritious snacks each day. You should limit milk and dairy
products to about 16oz each day and 100% fruit juice to about 4-6 oz
each day and offer a variety of foods to encourage good eating habits
Feeding practices to avoid are continuing to use a bottle, giving
large amounts of sweet deserts, soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks,
sugarcoated cereals, chips or candy, as they have little nutritional
value. Also avoid giving foods that your child can choke on, such as raw
carrots, peanuts, whole grapes, tough meats, popcorn, chewing gum or
Your child's nutrition is important to her overall health. Proper
nutrition can also prevent many medical problems, including becoming
overweight, developing weak bones, and developing diabetes. It will also
ensure that your child physically grows to her full potential.
The best nutrition advise to keep your child healthy includes
encouraging her to:
- Eat a variety of foods
- Balance the food you eat with physical activity
- Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits
- Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
- Choose a diet moderate in sugars and salt
- Choose a diet that provides enough calcium and iron to meet their
growing body's requirements.
You can also help promote good nutrition by setting a good example.
Healthy eating habits and regular exercise should be a regular part of
your family's life. It is much easier if everyone in the house follows
these guidelines, than if your child has to do it alone. You should also
buy low-calorie and low-fat meals, snacks and deserts, low fat or skim
milk and diet drinks. Avoid buying high calorie deserts or snacks, such
as snack chips, regular soft drinks or regular ice cream.
The Food Guide Pyramid for young children was designed by the US
Dept. of Agriculture to promote healthy nutrition in children over two
years of age. It is meant to be a general guide to daily food choices.
The main emphasis of the food pyramid is on the five major food groups,
all of which are required for good health. It also emphasizes that foods
that include a lot of fats, oils and sweets should be used very
What counts as one serving?
To ensure good nutrition in your child and that they grow up
healthy, they will need to eat a large variety of foods. The amount of
foods that they eat is much less important. Remember that your child's
appetite may decrease and become pickier over the next few years as his
growth rate slows. As long as they are gaining weight and have a normal
activity level, then you have little to worry about. You can still offer
them a variety of foods, but can decrease the serving sizes if they
don't eat a lot.
Grain group servings include 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of
cooked rice or pasta, 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, and 1 ounce of ready to
eat cereal. Your child should eat 6 servings from this group.
Vegetable group servings include 1/2 cup of chopped or raw
vegetables, or 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables. Your child should eat 3
servings from this group.
Fruit group servings include 1 piece of fruit or melon wedge,
3/4 cup of 100% fruit juice, 1/2 cup of canned fruit, or 1/4 cup of
dried fruit. Your child should eat 2 servings from this group.
Milk group servings include 1 cup of milk or yogurt or 2
ounces of cheese. Your child should eat 2 servings from this group.
Meat group servings include 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat,
poultry or fish, 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans. You can substitute 2
tablespoons of peanut butter or 1 egg for 1 ounce of meat. Your child
should eat 2 servings from this group.
Fats, Oils and Sweets
No more than 30% of your diet should come from fats. For a 1600
calorie diet, that would equal 53g of fat each day, with most
preschool children requiring even less. The type of fat that you eat
is also important. Saturated fats in foods such as meats, dairy
products, coconut, palm and palm kernal oil, raise cholesterol more
than unsaturated fats, which are found in olive, peanut, and
canola oils, or polyunsaturated fats in safflower, sunflower,
corn, soybean and cottonseed oils. Limit saturated fats to no more
than 10% of daily calories.
Sugars supply a large amount of calories, with little nutritional
value. They include white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey and
molasses and foods like candy, soft drinks, jams, and jellies.
- use lean meats and skim or lowfat dairy products
- use unsaturated vegetable oils and margarines that list a liquid
vegetable oil as the first ingredient on the label
- read the nutrition label on foods to check for the amount and
type of fat it includes
- limit foods that contain a large amount of saturated fats
- limit foods high in sugar and avoid adding extra sugar to your