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By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
March 15, 2021

What your child eats can have a profound impact on their health.

We understand that it isn’t always easy to raise a healthy eater. Our Jacksonville, FL, pediatricians Dr. Alexandra Kostur, and Dr. Roman Criollo have worked with families who are dealing with everything from nutritional deficiencies to picky eaters, helping guide them to healthier and more sustainable food choices for their growing little ones. Have questions about childhood nutrition? We can help.

How many calories should my child eat in a day?

Factors such as age, gender, and activity all play a role in the number of calories your child should consume every day. The range for children between the ages of 6-12 years old is 1,600 to 2,220 calories per day. This breakdown can provide you with the average range of calories for boys and girls between the ages of 6 to 17 years old.

What should my child’s meals contain?

Your child’s diet should be low in sugar, saturated and trans fat, sodium, and cholesterol. You can pick from a wide range of lean protein sources, complex carbs, and fruits and vegetables. Avoid refined grains and swap them for whole grains. Lean sources of protein include fish and skinless chicken breasts. Make sure your child’s plate is a rainbow of colors.

Nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy, and legumes can also be great sources of vitamins and nutrients for your child. While the occasional sweet or junk food can be a nice treat, it’s important that this happens in moderation. Eating processed foods has been linked to childhood obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Does my child need supplements?

Every child is different and has different needs, so while some kids may not need a supplement others might. This is a question you may wish to pose to our Jacksonville, FL, pediatricians the next time you are in the office with your child. Most kids do get the nutrients they need from food. However, infants may require supplementation such as vitamin D, so it’s important to discuss this with your child’s doctor before starting them on vitamins.

I’m worried about my child’s weight, what should I do?

If you are concerned about your child’s weight it doesn’t hurt to give us a call. Our team of pediatricians knows how to handle weight concerns in children and it’s important to address the issue early on when lifestyle changes are easier to implement and weight gain or loss hasn’t become significant. Since sudden and unexplained weight gain may be a sign of health issues such as thyroid problems, it’s important to talk with your pediatrician right away if you have any concerns about your child’s weight.

We understand that eating healthy isn’t always as clear-cut as it might seem, but our Jacksonville, FL, pediatricians can provide you and your child with the education and information you need to ensure that your child is getting everything they need from their diet. To take advantage of our dietary guidance services here at Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics, call (904) 446-9991 to book your visit.