You want your child to be healthy, and one of the cornerstones of good health is nutrition. If your child is a picky eater, likes to eat junk food, or loves sugary foods and drinks, great nutrition can be difficult to achieve. Your pediatrician can help.
First, let’s look at how many calories your child should consume every day, according to Healthychildren.org:
- If your child is 2-3 years old, 1000 calories is ideal
- If your child is 4-8 years old, 1200-1400 calories is ideal
- For girls 9-13 years old, 1400-1600 calories is ideal
- For boys 9-13 years old, 1600-2000 calories is ideal
- For girls 14-18 years old, 1800 calories is ideal
- For boys 14-18 years old, 2000-2400 calories is ideal
You should feed your child:
- Lean proteins, including fish, chicken and turkey
- Fruits, including whole fruits and not fruit juices
- Vegetables, including plenty of green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains, including rice, quinoa, and whole wheat
- Dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese
So, what can you do to promote healthy eating habits? These are some excellent ways to help your child eat a healthy diet:
- Eat a healthy diet yourself because your child will do what you do
- Have regularly scheduled family meals, serving healthy foods
- Provide a wide variety of food choices to encourage your child to try new foods
- Let your child invite a friend over for dinner
- Keep healthy snacks on hand including fruit, cheese, and nuts
- Avoid making a big deal over food, because it can potentially lead to an eating disorder
- Involve your child in food choices, so your child is invested in the process
You can also have your child help you cook meals, so your child learns the value of good nutrition. Your child will also feel more invested in eating a meal that he or she has prepared.
Healthy eating and great nutrition are the foundation for excellent health throughout your life. To find out more about promoting healthy eating habits for children, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.
Regular well-child visits can help protect your child from serious illnesses, diseases, and injuries by identifying potential problems early. The early identification of medical issues allows you and your child to take precautions.
So, when should you bring your child in for well-child visits? The first well-child visit happens when your baby is 2 to 5 days old. Subsequent well-child visits happen at 1,2,4,6,9,15, and 18 months, and then again at 2 years old.
Regular well-child visits allow your pediatrician to monitor and record your child’s:
- Height and weight
- Heart sounds and pulse
- Musculoskeletal structure
These factors and more provide your pediatrician with the information to track your child’s growth and development. Your pediatrician can help ensure your child is on a healthy track for normal growth and development.
Regular well-child visits are important to your child’s physical health, and behavioral health too. Regular well-child visits are an opportunity for your pediatrician to assess and monitor your child’s behavioral health. During a behavioral health assessment, your pediatrician can identify and manage conditions including:
- ADD and ADHD
- Learning disabilities
- Anxiety and depression
One of the most important functions of a well-child visit is to provide immunizations to prevent contagious, infectious illnesses and diseases. Immunizations are required for your child to attend daycare and school. They also protect your child, your household, and you from acquiring an infectious disease or illness. The flu, hepatitis, meningitis, and polio are just a few of the conditions immunizations can help prevent.
You can benefit from well-child visits too because they give you a wonderful opportunity to ask any questions you have about your child’s health. Your pediatrician is an expert at medical care for children and is a great resource for you and your child. To learn more about the benefits of well-child visits and how they can help protect your child’s health, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.
Asthma is a common problem in children, and its effects can be serious. When your child has difficulty breathing, it’s scary for your child and for you. Your pediatrician can help treat and manage your child’s asthma, so you can both breathe easier.
It's easy for you to feel powerless when your child has an asthma attack, but there are tips and techniques you can try to manage your child’s asthma. The first step in managing your child’s asthma is to have your child tested for allergies. An allergic response to a substance can often bring on an asthmatic episode.
When you know what your child is allergic to, your child can try to avoid exposure to the substance. After allergy testing, your pediatrician may recommend allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy drops to limit your child’s allergy symptoms.
Along with allergy treatment, your pediatrician will also treat your child’s asthma with:
- Short-term rescue inhalers
- Long-term asthma medications
Other important tips to modify your child’s environment to prevent asthma include:
- Using hypoallergenic sheets and pillowcases
- Vacuuming frequently or consider switching to hardwood floors
- Dusting furniture and other areas frequently
- Installing an air purifier in your house
- Keeping pets off of furniture and out of your child’s bedroom
- Keeping doors and windows closed in spring and summer
Even with the best precautions, asthma flare-ups happen. An asthma attack can become a life-threatening emergency, so be sure to contact emergency services if your child is:
- Unable to speak due to breathing difficulties
- Severely gasping and wheezing, even with medications
- Breathing so deeply that their chest gets sucked underneath their ribcage
Your child doesn’t have to be controlled by asthma, and it helps to have an action plan in place in the event of an asthma attack. Your pediatrician can help you be prepared. To find out more about managing your child’s asthma and how your pediatrician can help, talk with your pediatrician today.
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.
When your child is sick, you need the expertise and compassion of a pediatrician. Your pediatrician knows how to treat childhood illnesses and injuries and can help your child feel better.
When a child becomes ill, the signs and symptoms can often become more severe than those of an adult. Children’s nasal passages and sinuses are much smaller. That means when your child acquires a virus like a cold or the flu, congestion and breathing difficulties can be severe. Your child may experience:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Sneezing and nasal congestion
- Fever and fatigue
Your pediatrician knows how to help your child recover from an illness and feel better.
Bacterial infections are another common medical condition in children. Eye, ear, tonsil, and throat infections are a frequent occurrence and can cause your child to develop signs and symptoms including:
- A sore throat
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Painful, draining ears
- Swollen lymph nodes
Your pediatrician can diagnose the infection and prescribe an antibiotic regimen to eliminate the infection and help your child heal.
If your child has allergies, it can cause a wide range of signs and symptoms, and make your child feel very uncomfortable. When your child has allergies, you may notice that your child is:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Having difficulty breathing
- Having itchy watery eyes
- Having a scratchy throat
Your pediatrician can perform allergy testing to determine what your child is allergic to, and prescribe medication including allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy to help your child get relief from allergies.
Pediatric asthma can be scary. When your child can’t breathe, it’s difficult not to panic. Your pediatrician can prescribe short term rescue inhalers and long-term asthma medications to prevent an asthma attack.
You can help prevent childhood illnesses and diseases by scheduling a regular examination appointment with the pediatrician. Your pediatrician can also provide immunizations to help ensure your child is protected against dangerous diseases.
To find out more about sick child diagnosis and treatment and how your pediatrician can help your child feel better, call your pediatrician today.
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