Nutrition for Children.

18 Oct

Thank you to MomTime’s own Carrie McConnell, MA, RD for today’s presentation on feeding our children healthily (so you don’t create food issues) and healthfully (to provide good nutrition).  Carrie is a Registered Dietitian (not a “nutritionist” – a term that carries no academic credentials) and also has a masters in family counseling.

Carrie’s subscribes to the Division of Responsibility feeding model.  In a nutshell, it is a parent’s job to provide nutritionally-balanced meals or snacks at regular intervals, and it is a child’s job to eat as much of it as they need.  This means that a child does not have to clean their plate – they don’t even have to take a “no thank you bite” if they don’t want to!

For more resources on healthy eating, Carrie recommends the USDA’s Choose My Plate website.  There is a subsection focused on children’s nutrition.

The key to healthy eating is to plan ahead.  For you, this may include meal planning for your family, keeping the pantry/fridge stocked with healthy snacks, or simply building in enough time around activities for kids to stay fueled until dinnertime instead of eating junk food snacks on whim.  Even in the car your kids can eat healthy, non-messy snacks like string cheese and an apple (or fruit pouch) or raisins and nuts (or dry cereal for the nut averse).

Some meal planning recommendations from MomTime members are:
Paprika (app)
Plan To Eat (website)
Relish! (website)

Carrie believes in teaching her son moderation in portion sizes and types of food.  For example instead of giving him a whole serving of (unhealthy) Cheez Its, Carrie makes a snack mix of Cheez Its, pretzels, raisins, and Chex – it still satisfies her son’s desire for salty and crunchy snacks, but it’s lower fat than a bag of Cheez Its alone, and provides fiber, vitamins and minerals from the raisins and fortified cereal.



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