Normal Diet For Children - 1 To 11 Years Of Age

What is it?

  • Nutrition for children means making sure your child is getting enough nutrients from age 1 through 11. He will grow each year and his needs for nutrients and new textures will change. Nutrients are calories, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Giving your child a healthy diet is vital so he can grow, develop, and stay at a good weight for his age. Children learn by watching, so your example is important in teaching good food habits.


  • Children may not want to eat at times, or they may want to eat too much of the wrong foods. Avoid using food to punish or reward your child. Try to find other ways to change their bad behaviors. Create a relaxed and happy setting for meals. The ideas below can help you guide them to eat a healthy diet that keeps them active and growing during their childhood years.


Care: Children this age are very active. Their bodies need nutrients on a regular basis, even if they do not feel hungry. Offer them meals or snacks 4 to 5 times a day. This will make sure that they have enough fuel to play and grow. Take your child for regular check-ups to make sure he is growing at the proper rate. Your caregiver can help you figure out if your child's calorie intake is too high or to low for his age and size.

  • Nutrient Needs: The amount of calories and protein that your child needs depends on both his age and weight in kilograms. Divide your child's weight in pounds by 2.2 to figure out what he weighs in kilograms (kg).


    • Calories


      • From birth to age 3: about 100calories per kg


      • Age 4 to 6: about 90 calories per kg


      • Age 7 to 11: about 70 calories per kg


    • Protein


      • From birth to age 3: about 1.2 grams per kg


      • Age 4 to 6: about 1.1 grams per kg


      • Age 7 to 11: about 1 gram per kg


    • Vitamins and minerals: Your child does not need to take extra vitamins or minerals if he eats a balanced diet. Ask your caregiver before giving your child any vitamin or mineral supplements.


  • Changing Food Habits


    • By age one, your child should start to feed himself by hand. Sometime he may be more interested in the world around him than in eating. Changing the texture (feel), shape, and taste of foods will keep him from getting bored and refusing to eat.


    • By age 2 or 3, your child may have strong food likes and dislikes. These may change every week or so. This is not a problem unless your child stops gaining weight or growing. Give a wide variety of foods to your child. Urge him to eat several things from each food group every day.


    • By age 4 to 6, your child may need a lot of time to eat. Playing with toys or other children may distract them from meals. If they will not eat certain foods, do not make an issue of it. Simply try each food again in a few days or a few weeks. If your child refuses a meal, try again at the next snack or mealtime.


    • By age 7 to 11, your child will usually eat according to his appetite. When hungry he will eat enough to maintain his weight and energy level. Praise his good eating habits but just ignore bad eating behavior at meals.


  • Food Group Choices


    • Give your child at least one serving per day of a high vitamin C food. Examples are citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, potatoes, and green peppers. Your child also needs one serving per day of a high vitamin A food. This includes spinach, winter squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes.


    • Some children may have trouble swallowing peanut butter at first. Give them only smooth peanut butter up to age 3 or 4. Watch them when they eat this and other sticky food to be sure they can swallow without choking.


    • Until age 2, your child should have whole milk and full fat dairy products to make sure his nervous system grows well.


    • Give your child 2% milk and lowfat dairy foods after age 2 to limit saturated fat intake. Also, choose lean meats, fish, and poultry foods for your child. Avoid fried foods and high fat desserts except on special occasions.


Serving Sizes: Use the serving size list below to measure amounts of food and liquids.

  • 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) of liquid is the size of a soda-pop can.


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of food is the size of a large handful.


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of food is about half of a large handful.


  • 1 ounce of cheese is about the size of a 1 inch cube.


  • 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) is about the size of a large walnut.


  • 1 tablespoon (Tbsp) is about the size of the tip of your thumb (from the last crease).


  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) is about the size of the tip of your little finger (from the last crease).


DAILY SERVINGS FOR A CHILD'S DIET

  • Breads / Starches: Most children need 5 or more servings per day. One serving is about the amount listed below for each age group.


    • 1 to 3 years:


      • 1/4 cup pasta, potatoes, or rice


      • 1/2 to 1 slice bread


      • 1/2 ounce dry cereal


      • 1/4 bagel or muffin


    • 4 to 6 years:


      • 1/2 cup pasta, potatoes, or rice


      • 1 slice bread


      • 3/4 ounce dry cereal


      • 1/2 bagel or muffin


    • 7 to 11 years:


      • 1 cup pasta, potatoes, or rice


      • 2 slices bread


      • 1 ounce or 3/4 cup dry cereal


      • 3/4 bagel or muffin


  • Fruits: Most children need 2 to 3 servings per day. One serving is about the amount listed below for each age group.


    • 1 to 3 years:


      • 1/4 cup pureed fruit


      • 1/4 cup juice


    • 4 to 6 years:


      • 1/4 to 1/2 cup canned fruit


      • 1/2 piece fresh fruit


      • 1/2 cup juice


    • 7 to 11 years:


      • 1 cup canned fruit


      • 1 piece fresh fruit


      • 1/2 cup juice


  • Meat / Meat Substitutes: Most children need 3 or more servings per day. One serving is about the amount listed below for each age group.


    • 1 to 3 years:


      • 1 egg


      • 1 Tbsp peanut butter (after age 2)


      • 1 ounce meat, fish, or poultry


      • 1/4 cup cooked dried beans or legumes


      • 3/4 ounce cheese


    • 4 to 6 years:


      • 1 egg


      • 1 to 2 Tbsps peanut butter (after age 2)


      • 1 to 2 ounces meat, fish, or poultry


      • 1/3 cup cooked dried beans or legumes


      • 1/3 cup cottage or ricotta cheese


      • 1 ounce cheese


    • 7 to 11 years:


      • 1 egg


      • 3 Tbsps peanut butter (after age 2)


      • 2 to 3 ounces meat, fish, or poultry


      • 1/2 cup cooked dried beans or legumes


      • 1/2 cup cottage or ricotta cheese


      • 1 to 2 ounces cheese


  • Milk or Yogurt: Most children need 3 to 4 servings per day. One serving is about the amount listed below for each age group.


    • 1 to 3 years: 1/2 to 3/4 cup


    • 4 to 6 years: 3/4 cup


    • 7 to 11 years: 1 cup


  • Vegetables: Most children need 2 to 3 servings of cooked or raw vegetable per day. One serving is about the amount listed below for each age group.


    • 1 to 3 years: 1/4 cup


    • 4 to 6 years: 1/4 to 1/3 cup


    • 7 to 11 years:1/2 cup


  • Your child should eat only enough of the following foods to meet their calorie needs.


    • Fats: This group includes oils, margarines, butter, and salad dressings. Most children will need 1 to 3 servings per day. One serving is about the amount listed below for each age group.


      • 1 to 3 years: 1/2 to 1 tsp


      • 4 to 6 years: 1 tsp


      • 7 to 11 years: 1 Tbsp


    • Sweets and Desserts: The number of servings shown below is the most your child should have per week. One serving is a medium portion, such as 1/8 of a pie, 1/2 cup ice cream, a 3-inch cookie, or 1/2 cup pudding.


      • 1 to 3 years: 1 to 2 servings per week at the most


      • 4 to 6 years: 3 to 4 servings per week at the most


      • 7 to 11 years: 4 to 5 servings per week at the most


Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your child's dietary health. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat your child. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Hide
(web3)