How do I get my kid to eat more vegetables?
Vegetables can be difficult for kids at any age, but there are ways to incorporate them without being so “vegetable.” Here are a few tips for diversifying your kid’s veggie intake:
- Lead by example. Eat veggies yourself and treat them as a normal part of meals.
- Involve your child in food prep. Active participation sparks interest. On homemade pizza night, let your kids decorate with bright bell peppers and fun-shaped mushrooms.
- Mix veggies in. Blend veggies into a sauce, such as pureed cauliflower in a cheese sauce, or finely chop them into a bolognese.
Combine old and new. Serve something new with something familiar. If green beans are the tried-and-true, add some asparagus to the mix.
How much protein does my child need?
Protein is one of the most talked-about questions among parents, many of whom worry that their children aren’t getting enough protein for healthy growth. Issues with picky eating, teething and learning how to chew often exacerbate these concerns. Fortunately, little kids actually have little protein requirements. You can take your child’s weight in pounds and half it to determine their recommended daily protein intake. (So a toddler who weighs 40 pounds should be getting about 20 grams of protein per day.) For most toddlers, this equates to just about 1-2 ounces of protein per meal. In a balanced diet with protein-rich dairy and whole grains, most toddlers’ needs will be met!
What is the difference between organic vs conventional food? Do I need to buy all organic?
The difference between organic and conventional foods lies in how they are grown, treated and processed. Foods labeled as USDA organic must adhere to strict guidelines, including no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics or GMOs. For the most part, little difference has been found between the vitamin and mineral content of organic and conventional foods. Moreover, because the cost of organic foods can be significantly higher, we suggest buying organic only when and how it makes sense for your family. The Environmental Working Group recommends the organic versions of the “Dirty Dozen” (to avoid excessive pesticide content) but the conventional forms of the “Clean Fifteen.”
How much sugar can my child have per day? What’s the difference between all natural vs added sugar?
When considering how much sugar your child should eat, it’s important to note that there is a difference between natural and added sugars. The goal isn’t to eliminate sugar completely, because sugar naturally occurs in foods that are part of a balanced diet, including whole grains, dairy and fruit. Instead, we should aim to limit added sugars to less than 25 grams, or about 6 teaspoons, per day. Added sugars are anything used to sweeten food, such as table sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar/juice, molasses and honey. A good rule of thumb for reducing the added sugar in your child’s diet is to choose whole foods—fruit over juice, whole grains over refined grains and unflavored over flavored dairy.
How to Start Introducing Solid Foods to Babies
Introducing solids to your baby can be intimidating. With safety and nutrition top of mind, we’d like to help simplify the introduction process. Starting on solid foods allows babies to get accustomed to eating, establish a feeding routine, learn about textures and experience using utensils. Our guide will help you transition your baby during their…Read more
4 Practical Tips for Feeding a Picky Toddler New Foods
It’s completely normal for toddlers to be fussy about eating—but when Sally refuses anything green and Bobby won’t touch an egg, it can drive you nuts (especially when they won’t eat nuts either). Feeding a picky toddler is a challenge, but there are strategies you can use to make mealtime easier! Try our four practical…Read more
Your Top 10 Kid Nutrition Questions Answered
Here at Nurture Life, we’re all about nourishing babies, toddlers and kids with wholesome foods at every stage of development. To make sure our freshly made meals provide the recommended balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, we routinely turn to the expertise of our pediatric registered dietitian, Lara Field. When she’s not collaborating with our…Read more
Transitioning Your Baby to Finger Foods
Babies take in everything around them: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and of course, tasting! As your little one develops, so do their feeding skills. Once they are eating Stage 2 purees with ease and show interest in feeding themselves, it may be time to introduce more filling foods for them to pick up and try…Read more
How to Make a Schedule for Your Toddler
To a toddler, the world can be a pretty overwhelming place. Whether they’re learning new words or mastering motor skills, every day is filled with new possibilities and opportunities for growth. It’s certainly an exciting time, but it can also feel a little scary—for both toddler and parent! Though there’s no guarantee that things will…Read more
Getting Kids to Eat: 6 Helpful Picky Eater Tools
It’s an all-too-common scene at dinner tables around the world: kids and parents facing off in a head-to-head battle over what’s being served. If you’re having trouble getting kids to eat a nutritious and well-balanced meal, we’ve made a list of six picky eater tools that just might help. 1. Food Face Plates Even the…Read more
6 Meal Ideas for Wholesome Stage 3 Baby Food
Once your baby has reached about 10 months of age, he or she will likely be ready to move past smooth baby purees and into the exciting world of self-feeding. Although meals can get more creative with thicker solids in the mix, the transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 baby food can also be…Read more
Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas: Mix and Match to Build a Nutritious Plate
Feeding a hungry toddler can feel like a full-time job, especially when you’re facing a demanding day of work or a long to-do list of appointments, extracurricular activities and household errands. On busy days like these, it helps to have your little one’s lunch planned and ready to go—which is why we’ve compiled a list…Read more
10 Kid-Friendly Meals for Picky Eaters at Dinnertime
When your household has a picky eater—or two or three!—providing a balanced, nutritious and flavorful dinner can feel like mission impossible. If you’re tired of offering the same-old, same-old with little success, try out our 10 dinner ideas for picky eaters. At least a few of these nutritious, creative, kid-friendly meals are sure to turn…Read more
5 Essential Baby Feeding Tools to Start Solids
Introducing solid food is one of the most exciting stages of babyhood, but gathering all the baby feeding tools you need can be overwhelming. Never fear—when you see signs that your baby is ready to start solids, reference our list of five essentials baby feeding tools that will keep both you and your baby happy…Read more
Got Milk? FAQs About Toddlers and Milk
Recently we looked at the process of transitioning from breast milk or formula to milk and what it means for you and your baby, from when to begin to how it might affect you and your emotions. In this follow-up post, we sat down with our pediatric dietitian to answer some commonly asked questions about…Read more
Kids & Food: Creating a Positive Relationship
Even for kids, the relationship with food can become complicated—or at least occasionally muddled. Fundamentally, food is about getting the proper nutrients to help fuel and energize our bodies. Children need food to grow and develop, and making healthy choices at an early age helps kids learn to make good decisions later in life. And don’t…Read more
Mac & Cheese Nutrition Comparison
When it comes to a home run dinner for the family, mac and cheese rarely disappoints. This cheesy pasta is a perennial kid favorite, easy to find in stores and simple to prepare. Depending on which brand you choose, macaroni and cheese can be high in fiber and protein, or it can be high in…Read more
Top 7 Kid-Approved Peanut Butter Alternatives
Peanut butter is a yummy and healthy ingredient for your kid’s smoothies and sandwiches. With eight grams of protein in two tablespoons, it’s sure to pack a protein punch, and all natural brands like Old Home don’t contain any added sugars. Sweet! But peanut butter isn’t always an option for your kid’s lunch. Peanut allergies in children…Read more
5 Nutrition Myths About Kids & Food
When it comes to children’s nutrition, parents face an abundance of information about what’s healthy and what’s not for their kids—and not all of is true. How’s a parent to decipher fact from fiction? We’re here to debunk some of the most common myths about nutrition for your child. The alternatives to potato chips are…Read more
Navigating Picky Eating
Although picky eating habits can emerge at any time, they most commonly become prevalent around the toddler years. Your flexible, up-for-anything baby may turn into a table-time terror as they get a bit older, refusing to try new foods and turning up their nose at once beloved fruits and vegetables. How can you make sure…Read more
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