Litchfield County Pediatrics

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LCPeds Blog

Posts for tag: Children's Nutrition

By Richard Tenczar, MD, FAAP
December 14, 2022
Category: Child Health Care

Good nutrition is important for everyone, especially children. Your child isn’t through growing and developing. Your child’s body needs help from the nutrients and vitamins contained in foods.

Good nutrition plays an important role in:

Your child’s immune system – a robust immune system helps protect your child from illness.

Your child’s circulatory system – a healthy blood supply feeds your child’s organs and tissues, to provide optimal growth and development.

Your child’s musculoskeletal system – strong bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments give your child protection against injury.

Your child’s nervous system – healthy brain and nervous system function can ensure your child meets developmental milestones.

These are some of the guidelines for proper caloric intake, according to healthychildren.org:

  • If your child is 2-3 years old, your child needs 1000 calories daily
  • If your child is 4-8 years old, your child needs 1200-1400 calories daily
  • If you have a daughter who is 9-13 years old, she needs 1400-1600 calories daily
  • If your daughter is 14-18 years old, she needs 1800 calories daily
  • If you have a son who is 9-13 years old, he needs 1600-2000 calories daily
  • If your son is 14-18 years old, he needs 2000-2400 calories daily

Along with the right number of calories, your child needs to eat nutrient-dense foods like these:

  • Lean proteins like turkey, chicken, and fish
  • Fruits, including whole fruits, not fruit juices
  • Vegetables, including green leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains, including rice, whole wheat, and quinoa
  • Low-fat dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt

Try to limit the amount of junk food, fast food, and snacks your child eats. These foods contain calories, often in high amounts, but they have very little nutritional value.

To view and print an informative Children’s Food Pyramid Coloring Page, please click here:

To find out more about the importance of nutrition and how it can help with your child’s growth and development, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.

By Richard Tenczar, MD, FAAP
July 08, 2022
Category: Nutrition

Get the facts on your child’s ideal diet and more.

We know how challenging it can be for kids to get all the nutrients they need from diet alone, especially if your child has food allergies, dietary restrictions or is simply a picky eater. We’ve compiled the top questions about childhood nutrition. If you have questions, your pediatrician can provide additional info and support.

When Can I Start To Introduce Solid Foods Into My Baby’s Diet?

You should begin to incorporate solid foods into your baby’s diet at around 6 months old. By 7-8 months, your child should be eating a lot more solid foods, from veggies and fruits to yogurt, protein and whole grains. Let your child sample one food at a time, which is also the best way to spot any food allergies. Talk with your pediatrician if your child develops a rash or other problems after consuming an allergenic food.

How Much Water Should My Child Consume?

It’s important for everyone to stay hydrated, and that includes children, too. A good rule of thumb is for your child to consume as many eight-ounce glasses of water as their age. For example, if your child is six years old they should consume six eight-ounce glasses of water. Of course, if your child is out in the sun or playing sports it’s important that they consume more water. Fruit juices and sodas are not considered a good alternative for ensuring your child gets enough fluids every day. Water is always the best and healthiest choice.

Is It Okay for My Child To Eat the Same Thing Every Day?

When it comes to your child’s diet it’s best to spice things up and add variety and rotation to daily meals. Sure, there may be some foods that your child just loves more than others, but it’s important that they are getting a good balance and mix of healthy fats, protein, fiber and complex carbs.

I’m Concerned About My Child’s Weight. Now What?

If you are worried about your child’s recent weight gain or that they aren’t eating enough, you should talk with your pediatrician about the best ways to help them manage their weight through proper diet and exercise. We can provide effective solutions and advice for how to tweak your child’s current diet to support their weight gain or loss needs.

These are baseline numbers that may fluctuate based on certain factors, so it’s important to speak with your child’s pediatrician to determine your child’s own dietary needs.

By Richard Tenczar, MD, FAAP
May 02, 2022
Category: Child Health Care

Make sure your child is following a healthy, balanced diet.

One in 5 school children is considered obese in the US. So, how do we stop these statistics from getting any higher? It starts with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Your child's pediatrician can always provide some helpful tips for ensuring your child is getting the vitamins and nutrients they need.

Daily Caloric Guidelines By Age

The number of calories your child consumes every day will depend on their age and their activity levels and gender. These are the caloric guidelines you should follow,

  • 2-3 years old (both girls and boys): 1,000-1,400 calories
  • 4-8 years old (boys): 1,200-2,000 calories
  • 4-8 years old (girls): 1,200-1,800 calories
  • 9-13 years old (boys): 1,600-2,600 calories
  • 9-13 years old (girls): 1,400-2,200 calories
  • 14-18 years old (boys): 2,000-3,200 calories
  • 14-18 years old (girls): 1,800-2,400 calories

Incorporating the Right Foods into Your Child’s Diet

It’s important that your child is getting a variety of healthy foods to ensure that they get all the essential vitamins and nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy. This includes,

Lean protein: This includes seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts

Vegetables: It’s important to incorporate many vegetables into your child’s diet every day. This can include everything from leafy greens to vibrant peppers to beans. If you do choose canned vegetables, make sure to check nutrition labels to ensure that there isn’t added sugar or sodium.

Fruits: Stay away from fruit juice, which can have a ton of added sugar, and opt for fresh or frozen fruit instead. Also, limit dried fruits, which can be high in calories.

Whole grains: Whole grains provide more benefits than refined grains (e.g., white bread and rice) and include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.

Dairy: Include some low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, or milk into your child’s daily diet.

While sugar won’t cause harm in moderation, it is important to limit added sugars and trans and saturated fats (found in red meat, full-fat dairy, and poultry). Wonder if your child’s diet gives them all the nutrients they need? This is something that your pediatrician can discuss with you during their next well-child visit.

Are you having challenges helping your child maintain a healthy weight? Are you concerned about their health? If so, it’s time to turn to your child’s pediatrician. They can provide you with strategies to help your child eat healthier and maintain a healthy weight.