Nutrition - pre-school children
Is your child getting all the nutrients they need?
A diet low in fat and high in fibre may not supply enough energy for young children and so parents should not put them on weight reduction diets. However, developing a healthy family lifestyle is important in the weight management of children.
The energy requirements of children increase because they are growing and becoming more active. We recommend small frequent meals which are high in energy (and also rich in nutrients.) A good supply of protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A and D is also necessary at this age. Whole cow’s milk is very good for children over the age of 12 months as a main drink, as it is a rich source of a number of nutrients.
Constipation can result from a low fluid intake. Encourage your child to drink more water and also increase the amount of fruit, vegetables and wholemeal bread in their diet. Too many sugary drinks and fruit juice between meals can cause diarrhoea. Encourage an eating pattern based on mini-meals and snacks selected from the four main food groups: meat; dairy; grain; fruit and vegetables. They should eat at least one food from each of these four main groups at each meal.
Consult your doctor if:
Either of our doctors or our paediatrician can assist you with practical advice regarding nutrition or, if needed, refer you to a dietician or nutritionist. Problems such as constipation or diarrhoea, or deficiencies such as anaemia can be a result of a poor diet.
- you think your child’s diet may not be as healthy as it should be
- your child has ongoing diarrhoea; constipation or frequent infections; poor weight gain and delay in development.