Toddlers and Food
Unfortunately, many people feel that kids are not affected by food. What parents need to know is that nutrition matters – even before conception. What toddlers eat affects their health and well-being in the present and future. More and more, research is showing that what we eat influences us at the deepest levels of our body, even in how our DNA is expressed.
The toddler years can be a challenging time for feeding your children because it can seem like their preferences change every day. I encourage parents to take advantage of this time when you have control over the foods your children consume and continue to offer them healthy choices. Most children will eat what they are given when they are really hungry.
All of the convenience foods that are marketed for children make feeding toddlers even more challenging. Next time you are at the grocery store, take a moment and really look at the labels on these foods. I am sure that you will find corn syrup, food colorings, artificial flavors, and often times, hydrogenated oils. These things are really not food and your toddler should not be eating them.
Some products that contain these harmful ingredients are pop-tarts, cold cereal, many crackers and cookies, frozen items and many yogurts. The ingredients in these foods are addicting and have a negative impact on your child’s health. They will weaken the immune system, cause cravings, trigger behavior and focus problems, and result in weight gain.
Just like adults, kids need to eat a balance of real proteins, real carbohydrates, and real fats to keep their blood sugar stable and nourish their bodies. Eating balanced meals and snacks whenever possible is critical. A child’s digestive system also handles real foods much better than processed foods.
Sometimes toddlers are very picky and will only eat bread and noodles. Often times, this is caused by an imbalanced digestive system. This is most common for children who have been on multiple rounds of antibiotics, especially in their first year. While antibiotics do kill off harmful bacteria, they also wipe out the good bacteria necessary for proper digestion. Without sufficient good bacteria, it can be harder for a child to digest meats and vegetables. If this is the case with your child, you need to replenish the good bacteria most likely with a supplement.
Nutrition Response Testing which we practice in our office is an excellent way to identify nutrient deficiencies in children. When these deficiencies are, reversed children start eating more balanced. Schedule your child today