Your Child’s Nutrition and Fitness at Every Age

According to AAP.org and their HealthyChildren.org site for parents, health, nutrition, and fitness have come a long way. But one great resource the site provides for looking ahead into your child’s future is the Ages & Stages section of the site, which lays out a great overview of where your children will be at any stage.

Baby – Feeding and Nutrition

It doesn’t take long to develop the confidence and calm of an experienced parent. Your baby will give you the most important information—how she likes to be treated, talked to, held, and comforted. This section address the most common questions and concerns that arise during the first months of life.

Breast milk or formula should be your child’s sole nutritional source for about the first six months, and the major source of nutrition throughout the first twelve months. During this time, you and your pediatrician will need to pay attention to her pattern of feedings and make sure that she’s getting enough for growth. Read more

Toddler – Nutrition

Your child is advancing from infancy toward and into the preschool years. During this time, his physical growth and motor development will slow, but you can expect to see some tremendous intellectual, social, and emotional changes.

You’ll probably notice a sharp drop in your toddler’s appetite after his first birthday. Suddenly he’s picky about what he eats, turns his head away after just a few bites, or resists coming to the table at mealtimes. It may seem as if he should be eating more now that he’s so active, but there’s a good reason for the change. His growth rate has slowed, and he really doesn’t require as much food now. Read more


Preschool

Before you know it, your child has turned four and then five years old. You may find that your somewhat calm child of three has now become a dynamo of energy, drive, bossiness, belligerence, and generally out-of-bounds behavior.

Your preschooler may seem to be in constant motion much of the time. This is because she uses her body to convey thoughts and emotions that she still can’t describe through language. Moving her body also helps her better understand many words and concepts that are new to her. In addition, your child should now have a healthy attitude toward eating and consume food to give her energy, not to demonstrate defiance.

During the preschool years, your child should be eating the same foods as the rest of the family, with an emphasis on those with nutritional value. This includes fresh vegetables and fruits, nonfat or low-fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheeses), lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish, lean hamburger), and whole grain cereals and bread. At the same time, limit or eliminate the junk food in your child’s diet, and get rid of sugared beverages as well.

Grade School – Nutrition

Your child should feel confident in her ability to meet the challenges in her life. This sense of personal power evolves from having successful life experiences in solving problems independently, being creative and getting results for her efforts.

Nutrition is important to normal growth processes, and thus you should make an effort to ensure that your child con­sumes a well-balanced diet. Your child’s need for calories rises during times of rapid growth, gradually increasing as she moves through middle childhood into puberty.

Fitness – As a parent, you need to encourage healthy habits—including exercise—in your children. Physical activity should become as routine a part of their lives as eating and sleeping.

Teen – Nutrition and Fitness

Adolescence can be a challenge for parents. Your teen may at times be a source of frustration and exasperation, not to mention financial stress. But these years also bring many, many moments of joy, pride, laughter and closeness.

One of the first ways teenagers assert their independence is by making their own eating choices. So, it may not come as a surprise that good eating habits are often a problem for teenagers. One way to make sure your teen is consuming a nourishing diet is to have family meals together.

Getting teenagers into the routine of exercising increases the likelihood that they will grow up to value healthy living and stay active. It will take concerted efforts of parents, schools and communities, however, to encounter the many diversions vying for a youngster’s time and attention. Read More

Young Adult and Beyond

A young adult who goes away to a college or a job far from home has to build a social support system from the ground up. At the same time, he may have to acclimate himself to a drastically different environment. A good, solid background of good health and nutrition will go a long way in surviving new environments. Read more

Sometimes, too, kids and adults alike take some time to get used to the appropriate health, nutrition, and fitness that is best for them – at any age. But if you think that your child might be having reactions to any foods or drinks they have recently begun to consume, bring them in to one of our easy-to-get-to locations! Pediatric Clinic of Mesquite now has locations in Mesquite, Sunnyvale, and in Garland, Texas. All locations have the mission of providing the best possible care for all of the heath care needs of our area’s children. Along with routine check-ups and immunization services, all of our locations offer night clinic hours, annual health evaluations, and in-house diagnostic and laboratory services. We love being a step above the rest!


Same-day appointments are available at all of our locations, Pediatric Clinic of Mesquite, Pediatric Clinic of Sunnyvale, and Pediatric Clinic of Garland.

 

 

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