The Importance of Child Nutrition

Posted by Smile Foundation on May 24th, 2021

Getting children to eat nutritious foods can feel like an uphill battle at times. The greater the struggle, the more leafy and green the food. However, the importance of child nutrition cannot be overstated. Don't give in and let them live on fast food and sugar. It's well worth the effort.

Why is child nutrition important?

Nutrition is crucial at any age. To stay safe and strong as they grow up, your children need proper nutrition.Children's nutrition will also help lay the groundwork for good eating habits and nutritional awareness that your child will use in his or her life.

What nutrients do children need?

  • One easy way to make sure children get the nutrients they need is through their choice of healthy foods.
  • Choose from sources including poultry, beans, seafood, and seeds for the lean protein.
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables daily in canned or frozen fruits. Look for frozen and canned options without adding fats or sugar. In 100% juice or water, the fruit should be.
  • For adults and children in your family, look for low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, or yogurt. Until one year old, babies shouldn't have milk products. In babies, 12 to 24 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends complete milk unless your baby is becoming too heavy. Ask your physician if you're not sure.
  • Added and refined sugar, refined grains, sodium, trans fats, saturated fats, and nutrient-free foods are also importantly reduced.

  Dietary Guidelines for Children From 1 to 11

  • Child nutrition means that your child receives sufficient nutrients between the ages of 1 and 11. Every year, he will grow, and he will change his nutrient needs and new textures. Calories, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals are nutrients. It is important to give your child a healthy diet to grow, develop and keep their age at a good weight. Kids learn by watching, so your example must teach good food habits.
  • Children may not at times want to eat or eat the wrong foods too much. Do not use food to punish or recompense your child. Instead, try to find other ways of changing your misconduct. Make for meals a relaxed and happy place.

Nutrition Care:

 This age is very active for children. Even if they do not feel hungry, their bodies need nutrients regularly. Give them 4 to 5 times a day meals or snacks. It ensures they have sufficient fuel to play and grow. Make sure your child grows at the proper rate for regular check-ups. Your care can help you determine whether your child's calorie intake is too high or too low for its age and size.

Nutrition Needs

The number of calories and protein required by kilos depends upon the age and weight of your child. Divide the weight of your child in 2.2 pounds to determine its weight in kilograms.


  • 100 calories per kg from birth to age 3;
  • 90 calories per kg  from age 4 to 6;
  • 70 calories per kg  from age 7 to 11


  • 1.2 grams per kgfrom birth to age 3
  • 1.1 grams per kgfrom age 4 to 6;
  • 1 gram per kgfrom age 7 to 11


If your child enjoys a well-balanced diet, he won't need to take any additional vitamins or minerals. However, before offering your child any vitamin or mineral supplements, consult with your caregiver.

Changing Food Habits

  • Your child should be able to feed himself by hand by the age of one. He may be more interested in the world around him than in what he's eating at times. Foods with different textures (feel), shapes, and flavors can prevent him from being bored and refusing to feed.
  • By the age of two or three, your child may have developed clear food preferences. These are subject to change every week or so. Unless your child keeps gaining weight or developing, this isn't a concern. Give your child a wide range of foods. Encourage him to eat a variety of foods from and food groups daily.
  • Your child may need a lot of time to eat between the ages of 4 and 6. In addition, they may be distracted from their meals by playing with toys or other children. Don't make a big deal out of it if they won't eat those things. Instead, repeat the process in a few days or weeks. If your child refuses to eat a meal, try again at a later snack or meal.
  • Your child will normally eat according to his appetite by the age of 7 to 11. He can eat enough to sustain his weight and energy level if he is hungry. Praise his healthy eating habits while ignoring his poor eating habits during meals.


Food Group Choices:

  • Give your child at least one serving of vitamin C-rich food per day. Citrus fruits and juices, onions, potatoes, and green peppers are all examples. Your child also needs one serving of vitamin-A-rich food every day. Spinach, winter squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes are examples.
  • At first, some children may have difficulty swallowing peanut butter. Give them smooth peanut butter until they are 3 or 4 years old. When they eat this or some other sticky food, keep an eye on them and make sure they don't choke.
  • To ensure that your child's nervous system develops properly, feed him whole milk and full-fat dairy products before he is two years old.
  • After the age of two, restrict your child's saturated fat intake by giving him 2 percent milk and low-fat dairy foods. In addition, feed your child lean meats, fish, and poultry. Finally, except on special occasions, avoid fried foods and high-fat desserts.

Tips for child nutrition

  • Teach your children the value of good nutrition and assist them in developing healthy eating habits. The more you teach your child about nutrition, the more enthusiastic he will be about eating well.
  • While nutrients are essential, portion size is also important.
  • Fruits and vegetables should make up half of your child's plate.
  • Should prefer fresh food to highly processed foods.
  • The nutritional value of foods can be affected by how they are cooked and prepared. Instead of frying or boiling vegetables, consider grilling, steaming, baking, or broiling them.
  • Food isn't the only thing that matters. So instead of sugary, sweetened beverages, drink water or low-fat milk.
  • Different foods contain different nutrients, so make sure your child eats a variety of foods.


Care Agreement :

You have the right to participate in the planning of your child's treatment. You must first learn about your child's dietary health to assist with this strategy. Then you and your caregivers will talk about treatment choices. Work with them to determine how your child will be handled. You have the freedom to refuse care at any time.

For further information, always check with your healthcare professional to ensure the information on this page relates to your specific situation.

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Smile Foundation
Joined: May 24th, 2021
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