Items in AFP with MESH term: Child Nutrition Disorders

Nutrition in Toddlers - Article

ABSTRACT: Toddlers make a transition from dependent milk-fed infancy to independent feeding and a typical omnivorous diet. This stage is an important time for physicians to monitor growth using growth charts and body mass index and to make recommendations for healthy eating. Fat and cholesterol restriction should be avoided in children younger than two years. After two years of age, fat should account for 30 percent of total daily calories, with an emphasis on polyunsaturated fats. Toddlers should consume milk or other dairy products two or three times daily, and sweetened beverages should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces of 100 percent juice daily. Vitamin D, calcium, and iron should be supplemented in select toddlers, but the routine use of multivitamins is unnecessary. Food from two of the four food groups should be offered for snacks, and meals should be made up of three of the four groups. Parental modeling is important in developing good dietary habits. No evidence exists that early childhood obesity leads to adult obesity, but physicians should monitor body mass index and make recommendations for healthy eating. The fear of obesity must be carefully balanced with the potential for undernutrition in toddlers.



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