Healthy Eating for Children - Topic Overview
If your child is healthy and eating a nutritious and
varied diet, yet seems to eat very little, he or she may simply need less food energy
(calories) than other children. And some children need more daily
calories than others the same age or size, and they eat more than you might
expect. Every child has different calorie needs.
In rare cases, a
child may eat more or less than usual because of a medical condition that
affects his or her appetite. If your child has a medical condition that affects
how he or she eats, talk with your child's doctor about how you can help your
child get the right amount of nutrition.
What are the risks of eating poorly?
A child with
poor eating habits is going to be poorly nourished. That means he or she won't be
getting the amounts of nutrients needed for healthy growth and development.
This can lead to being underweight or overweight. Poorly nourished children
tend to have weaker
immune systems, which increases their chances of
illness. Poor eating habits can increase a child's risk for
heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol later in life.
- Eating a very limited variety of
- Refusing to eat entire groups of foods, such as
- Eating too many foods of poor nutritional quality, such
as soft drinks, chips, and doughnuts.
- Overeating from being
served large portions or being told to "clean your plate" or "finish
it all up."
Frequently Asked Questions