Purposeful Parenting Month: Setting Nutritional Goals
July is Purposeful Parenting Month—an entire month about making sure you are being mindful of every part of your child’s life, including their nutritional health. When your child is hungry, it is very easy to give them whatever meal is closest and fastest. What you are giving your child to make them stop crying may not be good for them.
Balanced meals are vital to a growing child, and there are many simple ways to make sure your child is getting the right amount of food daily. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Make sure they are getting the right type of milk. Infants 12 months and under should still get either breast milk (preferred) or iron-fortified baby formula. Once they are about a year old, be sure to ask your pediatrician or healthcare provider if it is alright to switch to cow’s milk, and if so, what kind.
- Pay attention to the food groups. Your child should have all the food groups with their meal. These food groups are: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein, and Dairy. Their age may decide the way they are given these food groups, so be sure to speak to your pediatrician or healthcare provider or visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/
- Give them child sized portions. Children eat when they are hungry and stop when they’re full. A good way to be sure your child is getting the right amount of food is to give them no more than 1/4th of your adult portion of food. If they are still hungry, they may ask for more.
- Include them in making meals more. If your child is at an age where they can walk and talk, including them in making food may open them up to trying new foods. Kids tend to like things more when they are involved, and it will give them healthy kitchen and cooking habits.
- Eat as a family. As Nemours 5-2-1-Almost None program says, eating as a family allows you to introduce your child to new foods and also show them good eating habits more often.
Do you think your child may have an allergy to or intolerance for certain foods, or have more questions about how to create a healthy meal for your baby? Be sure to dial 2-1-1 for Help Me Grow, or text: 302-231-1464. Help Me Grow 2-1-1 will set you up with a specialist to help answer any questions or address any concerns.