How do I get my kid to eat more vegetables?
Vegetables can be difficult for kids at any age, but there are ways to incorporate them without being so “vegetable.” Here are a few tips for diversifying your kid’s veggie intake:
- Lead by example. Eat veggies yourself and treat them as a normal part of meals.
- Involve your child in food prep. Active participation sparks interest. On homemade pizza night, let your kids decorate with bright bell peppers and fun-shaped mushrooms.
- Mix veggies in. Blend veggies into a sauce, such as pureed cauliflower in a cheese sauce, or finely chop them into a bolognese.
Combine old and new. Serve something new with something familiar. If green beans are the tried-and-true, add some asparagus to the mix.
How much protein does my child need?
Protein is one of the most talked-about questions among parents, many of whom worry that their children aren’t getting enough protein for healthy growth. Issues with picky eating, teething and learning how to chew often exacerbate these concerns. Fortunately, little kids actually have little protein requirements. You can take your child’s weight in pounds and half it to determine their recommended daily protein intake. (So a toddler who weighs 40 pounds should be getting about 20 grams of protein per day.) For most toddlers, this equates to just about 1-2 ounces of protein per meal. In a balanced diet with protein-rich dairy and whole grains, most toddlers’ needs will be met!
What is the difference between organic vs conventional food? Do I need to buy all organic?
The difference between organic and conventional foods lies in how they are grown, treated and processed. Foods labeled as USDA organic must adhere to strict guidelines, including no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics or GMOs. For the most part, little difference has been found between the vitamin and mineral content of organic and conventional foods. Moreover, because the cost of organic foods can be significantly higher, we suggest buying organic only when and how it makes sense for your family. The Environmental Working Group recommends the organic versions of the “Dirty Dozen” (to avoid excessive pesticide content) but the conventional forms of the “Clean Fifteen.”
How much sugar can my child have per day? What’s the difference between all natural vs added sugar?
When considering how much sugar your child should eat, it’s important to note that there is a difference between natural and added sugars. The goal isn’t to eliminate sugar completely, because sugar naturally occurs in foods that are part of a balanced diet, including whole grains, dairy and fruit. Instead, we should aim to limit added sugars to less than 25 grams, or about 6 teaspoons, per day. Added sugars are anything used to sweeten food, such as table sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar/juice, molasses and honey. A good rule of thumb for reducing the added sugar in your child’s diet is to choose whole foods—fruit over juice, whole grains over refined grains and unflavored over flavored dairy.
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Transitioning Your Baby to Finger Foods
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Getting Kids to Eat: 6 Helpful Picky Eater Tools
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5 Essential Baby Feeding Tools to Start Solids
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Mac & Cheese Nutrition Comparison
When it comes to a home run dinner for the family, mac and cheese rarely disappoints. This cheesy pasta is a perennial kid favorite, easy to find in stores and simple to prepare. Depending on which brand you choose, macaroni and cheese can be high in fiber and protein, or it can be high in…Read more
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