Monitoring your child’s weight and nutritional needs helps prevent them from experiencing health concerns in the future, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. To help you better understand and manage your child’s health, our pediatricians can provide informed guidance during your well visit. Touchpoint Pediatrics provides comprehensive pediatric service to families in the Chatham, New Jersey, area. Here, Touchpoint Pediatrics discusses nutritional requirements for children and ways to maintain healthy habits at home.
Discover Your Child’s Nutritional Needs
In terms of your child’s ideal weight, several factors come into play. Some of these components include things such as age, height, and gender. Although basic nutrients are required across the board, children between ages 2 and 18 need specified amounts of nutrients.
Basic nutrients consist of minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Children can access these supplements through nutrient-rich food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, and grains. Depending on the age and gender of your child or baby, their bodies may require smaller or larger portions of these foods daily. According to the Mayo Clinic, the general recommendations for each age group and gender include:
- Boys ages 2 to 4: 2 to 5 ounces of protein, 1 to 2 cups of vegetables, 1 to 1-1/2 cups of fruit, 3 to 5 ounces of grains, and 2 to 2-1/2 cups of dairy
- Girls ages 2 to 4: 2 to 4 ounces of protein, 1 to 1-1/2 cups of vegetables, 1 to 1-1/2 cups of fruit, 3 to 5 ounces of grains, and 2 to 2-1/2 cups of dairy
- Boys ages 5 to 8: 3 to 5-1/2 ounces of protein, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups of vegetables, 1 to 2 cups of fruit, 4 to 6 ounces of grains, and 2-1/2 cups of dairy
- Girls ages 5 to 8: 3 to 5 ounces of protein, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups of vegetables, 1 to 1-1/2 cups of fruit, 4 to 6 ounces of grains, and 2-1/2 cups of dairy
- Boys ages 9 to 13: 5 to 6-1/2 ounces of protein, 2 to 3-1/2 cups of vegetables, 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit, 5 to 9 ounces of grains, and 3 cups of dairy
- Girls ages 9 to 13: 4 to 6 ounces of protein, 1-1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables, 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit, 5 to 7 ounces of grains, and 3 cups of dairy
- Boys ages 14 to 18: 5-1/2 to 7 ounces of protein, 2-1/2 to 4 cups of vegetables, 2 to 2-1/2 cups of fruit, 6 to 10 ounces of grains, and 3 cups of dairy
- Girls ages 14 to 18: 5 to 6-1/2 ounces of protein, 2-1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables, 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit, 6 to 8 ounces of grains, and 3 cups of dairy
Explore our helpful links and resources page on healthy eating to further your research on nutrition and the suggested requirements for your child.
Encourage And Practice Healthy Habits At Home
There are many ways you can incorporate healthy patterns into your children’s daily routine. These practices also apply to adults and can help promote positive habits for the entire family. Some tips to implement a healthy lifestyle include:
Prepare Nutritional Meals And Snacks
Aside from providing your child with the proper nutrients in each meal, you also can encourage healthy habits by swapping out sugary or high-calorie snacks for healthier treats. Several articles and books on healthy snacks for kids are available. You can even make your own baby food at home with simple ingredients as a way to prevent unnecessary additives that may come in pre-made selections.
Increase Your Child’s Activity
Staying active is proven to benefit bone strength, enhance self-esteem, help with weight management, and reduce stress and anxiety. You can keep your kids physically active by taking daily walks or bicycle rides, going to the playground, or playing physically active games such as tag. There are numerous ways to keep kids active — it is just a matter of finding which activities suit your family best.
Encourage Plenty Of Rest
If your child is not getting the proper amount of sleep each night, they are more likely to struggle with weight management. When children get the appropriate amount of sleep for their age, it’s easier for the body to sustain a healthier weight, regulate mood, and maintain daytime energy levels.
There are several ways to motivate your children to engage in healthy habits. A common misconception about weight management is that it revolves exclusively around food. In reality, much more goes into maintaining your child’s overall wellness. The best way to support child nutrition and ideal weight is to initiate positive habits into daily life and consult your pediatrician if concerns arise.
Learn More About Healthy Child Nutrition With Touchpoint Pediatrics
We understand the challenges of maintaining healthy habits and offer personalized solutions to help each patient enact changes. Located in Chatham, NJ, and serving families throughout Hoboken, Morristown, Summit, Berkeley Heights, and beyond, Touchpoint Pediatrics works together with families to provide quality care and attention to every patient.
Our medical team has earned several awards and credentials over the years, showing our devotion to patient care. Contact us today to find out more about child nutrition and weight management.