The Playdate Kids Gazette

This blog is dedicated to all of the Playdate Kids Club Members. We will offer fun to read articles, tips for parents, ideas for arts and crafts projects and more!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nutrition is vital for a growing child. A young child grows slower compared to a baby. The average child aged between two and five will grow around 2 1/2 inches and gain about five pounds a year. Since they are growing slower, their appetites will likely see a decrease.

This age is the perfect time to teach your child healthy eating habits. The diet habits formed during these years are often made into habits in their future. The nutritional needs of young children are similar to the nutritional needs of adults. Of course the portions differ because of their size and age but try to offer your child all the foods from the basic food groups. These foods include: breads, cereals, rices, carrots, peas, tomatoes, melons, apples, milk, yogurt, cheese, poultry, fish, dry beans and eggs. Over time, your child will grow accustomed to choosing from that variety of healthy foods. Protein is vital for their growth. The milk, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese and beans provide protein. Dietary calcium is dairy products and certain greens. The calcium is necessary for strong bones and healthy teeth. Iron comes from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and fortified cereals. Iron that is in cereal absorbs better when eatten with vitamin C. Citrus fruit, citrus juice and dark green and yellow veggies are filed with vitamin C and A. Most breads and cereals contribute crucial vitamin and minerals.

Plenty of water is needed to control and assist all body functions. A child's body can become dehydrated more quickly than an adult's. Offer water to your child several times throughout the day.

Remeber that fat is a good nutrient in a child's diet. Do not deprive your child of healthy fats. Fat helps provide extra calories and needed nutrients for a growing child. Limit foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol for children. Do this by offering your child low-fat dietary choices like drinking low-fat milk instead of whole milk.

Also, sugar-based food items provide little to no nutrients and should be eaten rarely. They also promote tooth decay.

Try cooking healthy foods with your child, make it a fun activity. Here is a fun recipe for the summer...

Strawberry Jello Summer Pops

Ingredients:

1 package of Jello
1 cup of hot water
2 cups of any fruit juice
Tooth picks
Muffin tin, ice cube tray or tiny-sized cups

What to do:

1. Boil water and mix with Jello until it is dissolved
2. Add juice and stir
3. Pour gelatin and juice mixture into cup or tray
4. Refrigerate for one hour and fifteen minutes
5. Insert toothpicks
6. Place in freezer until frozen completely

ENJOY!

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