What Are The Signs Your Child Is Not Getting The Proper Nutrition?

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What Are The Signs Your Child Is Not Getting The Proper Nutrition?
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What Are The Signs Your Child Is Not Getting The Proper Nutrition?

So, your child is not obviously malnourished, but are they getting the right nutrition?

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Children should eat between one and six cups of fruits and vegetables each day, depending on their age. The CDC has a Fruit and Vegetable Calculator to help you gauge a daily goal for fruits and vegetables based on age, sex and activity level.

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There have been mixed messages about milk. On the one hand, kids need milk to build strong bones and for vitamin D. On the other hand, too much milk can lead to iron deficiency. Current recommendations suggest just two cups of milk per day.

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Generally, about 30% of a child’s caloric intake should come from protein. The CDC recommends that the dietary allowance for protein for children ages one to three is 13 grams of protein daily, children ages four to eight is 19 grams of protein daily and children ages nine to 13 is 34 grams of protein daily.

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A cup of milk has about eight grams of protein. Three ounces of meat has about 20 grams of protein.

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Whole grains are good for everyone. Children should eat about two to three servings of whole grains each day.

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Are there signs your child is not getting the right nutrition? They may be subtle but, yes. Read on to discover the questions you should be asking about your child's heath for signs of malnutrition.

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Is your child often sick?

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Does your child complain of an upset stomach and/or have problems with constipation or diarrhea.

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Is your child underweight for his height?

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Is your child growing along her growth curve?

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Does your child lack energy, get fatigued easily or is generally irritable?

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Does your child complain of headaches, dizziness or joint pain?

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Does your child have skin dryness or hair loss?

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If you answered yes to any of the above, start keeping a food journal. Note everything your son or daughter eats over a week, and then look for patterns. Are they not eating enough, are they eating too much sugar, do they need to up their servings of fruits and vegetables?

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There are medical and psychological disorders that can result in malnutrition even when you are vigilant about what your children eat. Speak to your doctor or to a pediatric nutritionist if you still have concerns.

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We are what we eat. Even small nutritional deficiencies can result in both short and long term damage. Focus on cutting back on sugar and fat and increasing the good stuff. Remember, even if you are supplying all the right foods, it is your job as a parent to encourage a healthy, long-term relationship with food. Click here for more on getting your children to eat their vegetables.

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Since you are reading this your child probably does not suffer from frank malnutrition. I am only guessing, but if you have access to the internet and you care enough to read about this, you are probably supplying your child with three meals a day. Lucky them. Millions of children around the world suffer from malnourishment or undernourishment. You've seen the images of children with bony limbs and distended stomachs. This is hunger at its worst.

Check out the slideshow above to discover more information about child nutrition and the signs your child is not getting the right nutrition.

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