Dr. Tanya Altmann
For the first six months of life, breast milk is the ideal source of nutrition for babies, but it’s also food for the good bacteria in a baby’s gut which helps build a strong immune system and metabolism – and a reason why pediatricians are now recommending probiotics as early as day one of life. While you should consult with your pediatrician first, probiotics are a great way to ensure baby’s immune system is developing strong and healthy
At this age, parents tend to “reward” or “silence” their kids with sweets. According to the American Heart Association, kids four to eight years old consumer 21 teaspoons of sugar over the recommended four, every day! It’s easy to go over the daily recommendation when an 8oz glass of orange/apple juice contains six or seven teaspoons of sugar alone. The best tip for this age group is to be conscious of sugar intake. Check labels for added sugars and minimize wherever possible; grab whole fruit instead and make water your beverage of choice
At this age, kids are much more independent. They start “raiding the cupboard” (which doesn’t typically have the healthiest of foods) and spend too much time in front of a screen (TV, iPad, etc.). The most important nutrition tip at this age is to pack healthy lunches and involve your child in the grocery shopping and cooking process to make prepping and eating healthy meals fun.
This can be a tricky time in a child’s life. With puberty comes physical change to the body, and it’s at this age that some kids become more body-conscious, which could impact their nutritional intake. It’s important that parents educate their kids about healthy eating, as they are now making their own choices. Plan healthy family dinners or weekend breakfasts together and prepare meals that are high in protein and fiber. (Many kids this age do not get the proper amount of protein or fiber, which are key for growing bodies.)
Dr. Altman is a spokesperson for Evivo.