Teach Your Child to Eat Properly. Favourite Family Meals

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Favourite-Family-Meals_cThe big change in your child's life at this stage will probably be starling nursery school. Eating has to fit more into a routine. Young children will need a good breakfast to keep them alert until lunchtime. You may also need to make a packed lunch for school, which should be both appealing and nutritious.

 


Between the ages of three and five, your child's manual dexterity should improve and she should master eating with a knife and fork. She should have her first full set of teeth.

Young children are more likely to accept new tastes than older children, so it is important to introduce as much variety as possible at a young age. A lot of my inspiration for writing recipe books for children comes from looking at foods from around the world and then finding ways to make them 'child friendly' as well as being quick and easy to prepare for busy parents.

Is your child eating properly?

I know many mothers who constantly worry mat their child is not eating enough so how do you tell if a young child is getting all the nutrients he needs? If your child is growing properly, has plenty of energy and seems healthy and strong, then even if he doesn't have an enormous appetite he is probably absolutely fine. It is reassuring to know that toddlers can thrive on remarkably little food. They tend to be quite unpredictable and one day can be ravenous and the next have no appetite at all. It's much better to review a child's food intake over a period of a week rather than worrying on a day-to-day basis. If your child doesn't seem to be thriving, often gets ill and seems listless it is possible that he is not getting enough iron in his diet. Cow's milk unlike formula milk, is a very poor source of iron and you will need to include some iron-rich foods like red meat, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and lentils in his diet. Vitamin C enhances the body's absorption of iron so give a vitamin C-rich fruit juice like orange or cranberry juice (100 ml/3 fl oz will do) with your child's meal.

 



Do children need vitamin supplements?
Vitamin pills are no substitute for fresh food. We are foolish if we think that we can beat nature at its own game. Man-made supplements can never hope to replace all the nutrients contained in food. Many of the phytonutrients that we now realise are important in beating cancer were thought of as poisonous some years ago. There may be other factors locked up in fresh produce that we are still unaware of. The point to remember is that supplements do not replace food and a good diet will provide your child with all the vitamins and minerals she needs.

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