NUTRITION  OF SCHOOL AGE (6-12 YEARS) CHILDREN

 

POOR GROWTH

Emphasize high- calorie, dense foods including whole mild and dairy products.

Provide referrals to community and government programs to assist with food access if in financial hardship

Calories: 47-90 kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per day

Protein: 1.0 gram per kilogram of body weight per day vitamin D: 5 micrograms per day *

Calcium: 800-1300 milligrams per day Iron: 8-10 milligrams per day Zinc: 5-8 milligrams per day

Don’t forces feed or bribe the child to eat.

Don’t allow unlimited juice/low –calorie drinks or foods.

Don’t choose skim or low-fat milk and dairy products, unless recommended.

PICKY EATING

Offer two to three varieties of foods each meal.

Provide new food item with favorite/familiar foods.

Decrease mealtime distractions.

Provide a multivitamin with minerals to help decrease anxiety over adequacy of micronutrients as advised by the physician.

Offer praise when trying new foods.

Don’t forces feed or punish for not eating.

Don’t bribe or reward with sweets or treats.

Don’t become a short- order cook to provide substitute foods.

VEGETABLE/FRUIT REFUSAL

Offer new foods repeatedly in small amounts and ask the child to taste the food.

Try a different form of the food, either raw or cooked, to help increase acceptance.

Offer healthy dips (for example, low-fat dressings, hummus, or yogurt).

Cut food in small pieces and incorporate in sauces and meats like meatloaf/ meatballs, pizza, or casseroles.

Don’t forces feed or punish for not eating.

Don’t bribe or reward with sweets or treats.

SKIPPING BREAKFAST

Emphasize that breakfast is the most important meal of the day to provide the energy and nutrients for classroom work, which can translate into better test scores and overall healthier status.

Provide quick, ready-to-eat items (for example, fruit smoothie, yogurt, peanut butter sandwich, cheese, or cereal with fruit and milk).

Prepare breakfast the night before if time is of the essence, or perhaps purchase school breakfast, if available, for the child.

Allow the child leftovers if he/she prefers them versus “standard” breakfast items.

Don’t allow the excuse of not enough time to eat breakfast.

SCHOOL LUNCH

Involve the child in making choices about lunch items, whether buying at school or preparing at home.

Discuss what he/she eats at school or snack and his/her lunch experiences.

Don’t assume the child is eating what is packed or brought for lunch.

 

SNACKING

Allow a healthy after-school snack, which can help in the interim until dinner time; provide fruit, cheese and crackers, vegetables with hummus, yogurt, popcorn, milk and cereal, baked tortilla chips with salsa, nuts, and seeds.

Don’t allow snacking in front of the TV computer.

Don’t bribe the child with snacks to get him/her to do something else, like homework or housework.

 

EXCESS WEIGHT GAIN

Encourage increased physical activity.

Participate in favorite activities, involve the child in school sports, encourage family activities; focus on healthy eating.

Limit time and place for meals and snacks.

Decrease distractions around mealtimes to focus on amounts and foods consumed.

Offer healthy foods for meals and snacks. Provide low-fat or skim milk and dairy products.

Encourage the child to increase water intake.

Don’t allow greater than 2hours of TV or computer tome per day.

Don’t focus on calories and weight.

Don’t bribe or punish to encourage weight loss.

Don’t allow unlimited soda and juice consumption.