(Continued from Part 2)
While most cases of vitamin and nutrient deficiency are pretty easy to spot, realize that certain ones such as calcium may not be as obvious. It might also be hard to spot poor nutrition in an older child because their rate of growth will not be tracked on a chart any longer to make sure that they are within normal range.
If you have concerns about whether your child is getting everything they need from their fussy choices, talk with your child’s pediatrician first. They may be able to suggest a multi-vitamin or other option to help you see that your child gets the things their diet is lacking.
Keep in mind that if your child suddenly experiences a lack of interest in foods they once enjoyed, it could be something more serious. It is not uncommon for a child’s eating habits to change when there is a sudden alteration in their lives, such as a new school, new home, parents have strife, an illness or another significant event.
Also remember that we are now living in a culture that places a great deal of emphasis on personal appearance. There may be nothing wrong with the way your teen looks, but they may develop an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia in order to achieve ‘perfection’ and be starving themselves and damaging their health in the process.
Still other children might be obese, but still not be getting adequate nutrition because they are not eating a balanced diet and are making bad choices.
If you are concerned about your child’s eating patterns or whether they are getting all the vitamins and minerals their body needs, do not hesitate to get help. Your pediatrician can help put you on the right path with tips and suggestions for getting your child the foods they need.
They can also determine if supplements or multi-vitamins are necessary to get your child where they need to be in terms of health, nutrition, and a healthy weight and lifestyle.
(Continued from Part 1)
Here are some signs your child may be lacking in one or more areas of nutrition, and things to do if he or she is.
-Poor or Slow Growth
One of the reasons children have so many appointments when they are young is to monitor their growth rate. If your doctor notices your child is not growing at a normal rate or suddenly starts slipping away from their prior rate of growth for their current age, they may very well ask you about the child’s dietary habits. From there, they will make a decision as to how to proceed to make certain your child is getting all the nutrients their growing body and mind needs.
Some children who are not receiving adequate nutrition will start to show slowing or no progress in certain developmental areas to do with their physical and mental abilities. It might be a sign of another underlying illness, or it could just be poor nutrition.
Energy Levels below Normal
Deficiencies in iron, found in red meats, spinach, beans and more, can usually be a cause of low or decreased energy levels. If your child seems to be less spry or more sleepy than usual, think about how their diet may have changed. Most problems with lack of iron can be corrected by adding iron rich foods to the diet. You might have to smuggle the spinach into their diet, through a shake or smoothie, for example (see Mara Michaels’ great smoothie books for more information) but it will be worth it.
Others may require a supplement in order to maintain proper levels of iron in the body. Talk with your pediatrician if your child refuses to eat foods with iron, in them or shows signs of listlessness, which could be an iron deficiency.
Continued in Part 3
As a parent, you want what is best for your child, especially when it comes to their health and the foods they eat every day. It is pretty easy to control when your child is a newborn who relies on you for 100 percent of their meals and snacks.
In particular, if you are breastfeeding, you will make certain that you are eating all the things that you and your baby need, and taking vitamins and supplements as needed.
If you are giving them formula, you pay attention to the doctor’s recommendations, and buy the best formula your baby can have in order to get all the nutrition they need in their vital early stages of development.
At this point in your child’s life, their nutrition should be complete, no matter what feeding choice you make. But once you start on solid foods, this is where the trouble can start to creep in.
Once they start to develop their own likes and dislikes when it comes to food, it can be a running battle to get them to eat that is goof for them.
Whether have got a fussy toddler or a stubborn teen or pre-teen, once a child has learned to say no, they control what ultimately goes into their stomachs.
In this case, it can seem almost impossible to get all the recommended food groups into their diet. So, if like many parents you wonder if your fussy eater is getting all the vitamins and nutrients their body needs, keep reading to find out the signs of a lack of balance in their diet.
(Continued in Part 2)