Category: Child Nutrition

Nutrition Tips to Help your Child Stay Healthy during School Age

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Nutrition Tips to Help your Child Stay Healthy during School Age

Exams and academic tests are all part of a child’s learning journey throughout their school age. Children are expected to excel in them, which can cause stress. Because healthy kids are happier and better learners, it is in a parent’s best interest to provide them with best supporting nutrition. Effort put in now will go a long way to helping your child maintain a healthy mind and body well into adult life. Here are a couple of nutritional ways to support children throughout their schooling years.1 

 

Make breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy real food

Children who have had breakfast do better in school because they are more focused. Pack your child’s lunch as much as possible to ensure healthy eating. At dinner time, eat together as a family and set healthy eating habit examples.1  

 

When preparing meals to support your child’s mental and physical well being, make sure that you include:

 

Protein – Include lean meats, skinless poultry, eggs, beans, or milk in any of your child’s meals to provide nourishment for the brain and better concentration. 1 

 

Good carbs – Fuel for the brain and various activities. To help your child’s brain function efficiently, provide your child with grain foods, fruit and milk to keep up with daily demands.1  

 

Provide plenty of good fats – Fatty acids like (polyunsaturated) omega-3 and omega-6 improves memory function so make sure you include plenty of food sources that provide them (eg. mackerel, walnuts, soybeans, tofu, corn, meat, eggs) in your child’s diet.1, 2

 

Vitamins and important minerals – Only needed in smaller amounts compared to other nutrients, vitamins are essential for a child’s brain function at peak ability. Read food labels, compare to natural foods, and pick ones that will deliver the most vitamins per serving to support the overall well being of your child.1  

 

Fiber – Fiber in a child’s diet keeps them full longer and supports their gut health by feeding the ‘good’ probiotic bacteria in the gut. Fibers aid in breaking down hard to digest foods to extract the most nutrients.1  

 

Reference(s):

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/school/exams#

https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Fat/What%E2%80%99s-the-difference-between-omega-3-and-omega-6


How to Choose Healthy Drinks for your Child

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How to Choose Healthy Drinks for your Child

Juice trends have been around since the 1970s. It has always been popular because it is a great way to enjoy the daily servings of fruit and vegetables in a drink format. Juicing is a great option for children to get their nutritional needs. Though there are many juices out there, the main reason to drink juice is to get liquids into your diet. Make market nutritional choices by reading labels before you buy something for your child. Here are a few simple tips to keep your child healthily hydrated with beverages.1

 

Water

Water is the source of life and people cannot go without it for an extended period. Water carries vitamins and nutrients around your body to the cells that need it. On average, a child should have about six to eight glasses of water every day. Soups, juices, watery fruits and vegetables can add to the daily water intake. Watermelons, cantaloupe, pineapples, and cucumbers are example of natural high water content food items.1, 2

 

Milk

Milk is often attributed to children having strong bones and muscles. Milk is a good source of liquid nutrition because it provides protein and calcium for a growing child. About two glasses (250ml glass serving size) of regular milk or plant based is recommended for kids daily. It has to be part of a healthy meal plan to be effective.1, 3

 

Fruit and Vegetable Juices

If your child is reluctant to eat whole fruits and vegetables, juicing it will get past that. Make sure the juices throughout the day all amount to at least two whole fruits and three to four vegetables a day. Avoid adding additional sugars to the juices because most fruits seasonally contain all of the sugar necessary. A drawback of juicing is that a majority of fiber is thrown out in the pulp. Pulps can be added to cooking to gain back some of that fiber. Because juicing allows a child to technically consume more fruit, the calories can add up. Work around this by using fruit as a natural sweetener (eg. mangos and apples) to vegetable juice.1

 

Sweetened Drinks

Packaged drinks are an easy fix to making your own juice. As attractively packaged as they are, never go beyond the recommended serving suggestions and never used as replacements for real natural foods in a child’s diet.

Check with a pediatrician first before starting them on them because you never know what they may be allergic to.1

Reference(s):

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/pre-school/healthy-drinks#
  2. https://www.efbw.org/index.php?id=46
  3. https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20121213/cups-milk-preschoolers#1

Signs that Tell Your Child is Undergoing Growth Spurt

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Signs that Tell Your Child is Undergoing Growth Spurt

Each growth spurt or cognitive leap happens in girls between the ages of 10 and 14, and for boys, it is between the ages of 12 and 16. These types of growth will happen over 24-to-36-month increments. With that, before you know it, the still little precious one in your eye has become an adult. Your child’s doctor will be able to provide you with the right tools to keep track of their growth, but did you know that their hunger pains, weight fluctuations, and changes in sleep patterns are tell-tale signs of growth spurt? Read on to learn more about and easy tips on nutrition with food and alternatives (eg. Pediasure) to provide the best support.1, 5, 6

Hunger is an easy indicator

Simply put, for anything to move or grow, it requires energy from somewhere. This is especially true when it comes to growth. For the first 5 to 10 years of your child’s life, a child will experience a surge of hunger. If you notice them asking for more snacks or additional servings, it can be a sign of a growth spurt. It is your responsibility to provide them with healthy snacks and limit junk food, even though they provide calories or temporarily fulfill hunger. Processed foods are loaded with empty calories, cheap filler carbs, and additives with little nutrients found in real food.1, 2, 4

Weight gain or loss

With added bone mass, muscle density, and possible fat, it is normal for your child to be heavier. A plump child may present them as lovable, but be careful as they can easily become overweight. Overweightness in children contributes to heart and cholesterol related diseases when older and bad body image. Body image problems are prevalent in children with their access to social media. During these impressionable years, steer them in the right direction of eating right, exercising, and that everyone’s body grows differently.1, 4

Sleep schedule

Like most bodily functions surrounding healing, repair, and now especially growth, happen during sleep. When it is time for the body to go through its growth cycle, a child will feel tired. Since growth is happening in high frequency in the early years, they will often be drowsy. Because growth hormones peak at night, makes sure that a 5-year-old child gets 10-13 hours per night, while older 6-13 years get 9-11 hours.1, 3

How to provide support

Nutritionally, it provides fiber and energy from healthy carbs in whole grains, while vitamins and minerals calcium, phosphorus, and arginine support from vegetables and fruits. Promote listening to music, do family events, encourage the outdoors, and lead by example to also enrich their mind and ease social anxieties. For parents who are worried that food alone is not enough, supplements such as PediaSure come complete with 37 nutrients in the right proportions. With an amalgamation of unique Triple Protein Complex, healthy amino acids, easy to digest lipid blend, and the essential growth spurt supporting calcium, vitamin D, K, and phosphorus. Your child’s growth spurt years are crucial and providing them with adequate nutrition is vital.1, 5, 6

Request a Free Sample Today!

References:

  1. https://www.nutritionnews.abbott/pregnancy-childhood/kids-growth/6-signs-your-kid-is-having-a-growth-spurt/
  2. https://pediasure.com/child-development-nutrition/5-food-groups-kids?utm_campaign=new-abbott-nutrition-news-links&utm_medium=tag-referral&utm_source=new-nutritionnews-abbott&utm_content=new-6-signs-your-kid-is-having-a-growth-spurt&utm_term=variety-of-healthy-foods-and-nutrients
  3. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
  4. https://nurtureandthriveblog.com/signs-of-a-growth-spurt-in-childhood/
  5. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/products/page/pediasure
  6. https://pediasuremyanmar.com/formulation-support/

Additional Readings:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252454/


Important Nutrients Your Child Might Not Be Eating Enough

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4 Important Nutrients Your Child Might Not Be Eating Enough

As a parent, you try your best to raise a healthy child with a fulfilling life. But due to life’s challenges, providing the best becomes harder. You wonder what nutrients you are falling short on. Luckly, without having to source specialty foods and careful planning, you can make the best of what is available for bone development, immunity, digestive health and muscle function for your child. Here are four nutrients you should make sure your child is getting enough of.1

Calcium

The bones in your child contain most of their body’s calcium. Calcium is the best nutrient for bone and teeth development in children. It is also important for your child’s muscle function and their body’s cells’ communication.1, 2

How to increase calcium in your child’s diet:

Milk, yogurt and cheese contain high levels of calcium. For the lactose intolerant, include more leafy greens like mustard leaves, kale, broccoli, bok choy, soy products, and fortified packaged foods to get calcium.

Vitamin D

“Sunlight is good for the human soul” is not just a metaphor. It is needed in order for Vitamin D to be produced in the body. It supports your child’s immunity health by activating the required cells and keeps bones strong by helping it absorb calcium.1, 5

How to get more Vitamin D to avoid VDD (Vitamin D Deficiency):

Besides being outdoors to get Vitamin D, some foods do contain it, though not in high concentration. Consider making dishes that have a healthy serving of fatty salmon, tuna (for canned, low sodium options), herring, rainbow trout and sardines. Vitamin D fortified milk, juice mixes and Cod Liver Oil supplements can be given for additional quality Vitamin D.

Potassium

This electrolyte essential nutrient is often under consumed. It helps carry electrical changes in cells for communication within the body so that it functions properly. It aids in removal of wastes and toxins through the kidneys.1, 4

How to get more of this nutrient:

Fatigue is one of the side effects when potassium is under consumed. Natural plant foods, like the banana, watermelon, avocado and sweet potato, contain potassium in small amounts. Offering a variety of foods that contain potassium will not only help give the needed amount, but also build a general healthier diet.

Fiber

Fiber is key for a healthy gut in a child. The gut is responsible for 70% of their body’s immunity and it needs fiber for the nourishment of the good bacteria. There are two types of fiber, Soluble and Insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in many fruits and oats and is easily dissolved when mixed with liquids in the body. Insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, some fruits and vegetables, and kidney beans acts like a cleaner to help things moving in the digestive tract. A mix of both soluble and insoluble fibers are needed optimizes a child’s gut health.1, 3

How to get more Fiber:  Following portion control, your child per meal must have ¼ cup of fruits, ½ cup of vegetables, ½ cup of grains, and ¼ cup protein.

When Food Alone Isn’t Enough

An easy tell-tale sign that your child is ill is that they are not eating well. If you feel that your child is not getting enough nutrition through food, you may look for oral nutritional supplements. PediaSure® has a range of products to fit your child’s needs for growth when food alone is not enough. Packed full of the key nutrients Potassium, calcium, Vitamin D, and Fiber can be served alone as a drink or mixed into other foods. To find out which one of the range of products in Pediasure works for your child, always consult a pediatrician.1

Reference(s):

  1. https://www.nutritionnews.abbott/pregnancy-childhood/kids-growth/is-your-child-getting-enough-of-the-right-nutrients/
  2. https://www.ecowatch.com/vegan-calcium–2631635056.html
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321522#high-protein-foods-for-weight-loss
  4. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/electrolyte-balance/overview-of-potassium-s-role-in-the-body
  5. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

Why Kids Need Healthy Snacks

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Why Kids Need Healthy Snacks

Protein is one of the main essential nutrients a growing child’s body needs to build immune cells, tissue, muscles and bones. Factors like daily protein intake and other eating habits will affect how well a body will function and growth. Though meals make up most of a child’s daily nutritional intake, snacks can support and enhance their overall eating plan. Here’s how.1

Smart way to snack

Smart snacking is built on consuming foods with high nutritional value such as nuts, fruits, meats. Smart snacking should be around 100 to 200 calories with about at least 5 to 10 grams of protein per snack meal and should not interfere with the main meals.1

For healthy inspiration, try these tasty, protein-packed snacks for kids.

Warm peas or Turkey Deli with Naan

Mash together 2 tablespoons of plain boiled peas and a little over 1 teaspoon of olive oil or 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and spread on a 6-inch naan.

Roll it up and serve.

Replace the peas with Turkey deli meat for a non vegetarian version. w/Peas ≙ 6 grams protein, 140 calories; w/turkey deli ≙ 8 grams protein, 95 calories 1

Edamame

Soy delivers the same high-quality protein found in meat, fish, and eggs.

For easy snacking, portion cooked and frozen edamame in half-cup size and store in the freezer in appropriate containers and heat the portion you want to serve. Peel away the pod and consume the peas. ½ cup ≙ 8 grams protein, 100 calories 1, 2

Peanut Butter and frozen Banana Sandwiches

For a healthy dessert option, make an “ice cream” sandwich out of a split banana and one leveled tablespoon of almond butter.

Serve with barbecuing sticks for easy holding and eating. Freeze or chill before serving. ≙ 5 grams protein, 200 calories 1

A Protein-Rich Drink

 With a little planning, a simple protein drink will boost your child’s daily protein intake. Any Pediasure products are formulated to supplement a child’s daily nutritional needs.

Add Pediasure to smoothies and shakes to get up to 10 grams of high-quality protein plus 25 growth-supporting vitamins and minerals.

Reference(s):

  1. https://www.nutritionnews.abbott/pregnancy-childhood/kids-growth/why-kids-need-healthy-protein-snacks/
  2. https://pupswithchopsticks.com/edamame/

How Protein Fuels Child Development

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How Protein Fuels Child Development

Protein is one of the main macronutrients the children need in order to grow. Starting early on in their lives, protein exists in every cell of a child’s body to repair tissue, build muscles, renew skin, and even in your bones. What happens when your child does not get enough protein? 1

When kids fall short of their protein recommendations, they can face:

  • Chronic or prolonged fatigue
  • poor concentration
  • Be small for their age
  • Early bone and joint pain
  • Slower recovery from illnesses

Picky eating, irregular meal times, and eating disorders may also affect daily food and protein intake.

How to increase intake of Protein

Studies suggest that children ages 4 to 8 must get a minimum of 19 grams of protein a day. Older children need about 34 grams a day.

The good news is that protein is found in a lot of food sources. Organic red meats, free range poultry, fresh fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, tofu and soy products, almond butter, wheat germ, quinoa, and enriched rice provide a good source of high-quality protein.

Serving size per day will depend on the age of your child. Spread the daily required serving throughout the day.1, 2

Using Supplements to Up Protein Intake

Serving foods in different formats, fun shapes, and mixes can aid with adding more protein to a child’s diet. If your child still seems like they are not getting enough protein, consult a pediatrician for additional help.

Most pediatricians will recommend nutritional supplements to make up for protein intake not gained from food. Nutritional supplements should always be given alongside real food.

Products like PediaSure can easily be cooked into baked goods or paired with your child’s breakfast as a smoothie or shake, and after lunch milky drink, or dinner drink pairing.

Made in a variety of flavors children love, it will boost their protein intake content.1

 References:

  1. https://www.nutritionnews.abbott/pregnancy-childhood/kids-growth/how-protein-fuels-child-development/
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002467.htm#:~:text=Every%20cell%20in%20the%20human,%2C%20teens%2C%20and%20pregnant%20women.

How A Mother’s Role is Important in a Child’s Gut Health

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How A Mother’s Role is Important in a Child’s Gut Health

Your child’s gut can be a host to trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi, collectively known as the microbiome. Scientists at Abbott have been studying the impact of the microbiome on the developing immune system of children for the past two decades. Here are our experts’ answers to three common gut health questions from parents and friends.

Why are the beginning years critical to building immunity?

Seventy percent of our immune system is in the gut so it’s important that a child gets important ingredients like prebiotics. When gut bacteria are properly nourished, they can grow, diversify and multiply – all of which help to strengthen a child’s immune system.

 

What can parents do to foster their child’s gut health?

Parents can help by getting their kids to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables by modeling the behavior themselves. Throw in a couple of healthy snacks like carrots & dip or apples & nut butters to help kids feel full and get in daily requirements of fat and protein. Try cheeses for calcium if they cannot tolerate regular milk.

 

How can parents take care of their own gut health?

As it is important for children, it is also important to feed them the right food and ensure the beneficial bacteria thrive for adults. These 3 things you can be for you and can be customized to be more fit for your child too while you are at it:

  1. Diet
    Eat lots of fruits and vegetables because they are rich in fiber and prebiotics that feed intestinal bacteria. Yogurts are also another natural source of probiotics. The nutrients in these foods nourish and help protect your overall immunity.
  2. Antibiotics
    These are not needed unless medically necessary – Taking them just for the sake of it can upset the balance of your gut flora. If you need antibiotics, ask your physician about them and other probiotic supplements to take after you recover to help restore any impact to your gut health.
  3. Exercise and Stress
    Stress is universal in affecting gastrointestinal systems negatively. Every day, make sure you find ways to reduce stress, for yourself and your children, and fit in exercise to help relax and stay fit. Doing so can protect your immune system.

Reference(s):

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/baby/healthy-gut-starts-with-you

4 Ways To Boost Your Child’s Immune System

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4 Ways To Boost Your Child’s Immune System

How to Nurture Your Child’s Immune System

One of the best things you can do to help your child’s immune system to develop and keep them healthy is to optimize the gut health. Here are 4 easy and simple things that can help:

 

Choose a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables

As your child grows, offer whole foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains. Bananas and asparagus are rich in prebiotics, which help probiotics—found in fermented foods like yogurt and kefir—do their jobs.

Becoming a pet lover

Playing with a family or neighborhood pet even has its benefits to overall immune health—helping to diversify the species of bacteria in your child’s gut. Studies show that safe interaction with pets can change the composition and diversity of the microbes in a child’s gut and may even reduce their risk for asthma, eczema, and other infections.

Let them play around in the dirt!

Encourage playing outside and explore the outdoors! Not only does this help them get a dose of healthy bacteria, it gets them active. Don’t overtly be a germaphobe, but you should always make sure your child washes his hands after using the bathroom. Also encourage a good washing before meals and when they are ill.

Move More

Physical activity is a given to be healthy. Make sure they get at least 60 minutes of activity each day at the park, the playground or an indoor play space on brisk days.

Build your child’s immune system

From an early age, the gut microbiome development begins. With a few simple steps, parents can play an important role in helping to build a child’s immune system – by first building a healthy gut – and laying the foundation for a lifetime of good health.

 

Reference(s):

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/baby/6-ways-to-boost-child-immune-system

Common Illnesses Every Parent Should Know About

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Common Illnesses and their Differences Among Children that Parents Should Know

Children’s bodies are adapting to new senses, tastes, and building up an immune system. And while that is happening, no parent really wants their child to fall ill. In general, a healthy base nourishment and preventative care ensures that a child recovers or is less affected by common illnesses like flu, cough, diarrhea, and vomiting. Sometimes these illnesses can show similar symptoms and are hard for parents to tell. A doctor’s visit is most recommended for more thorough treatment. But all in all, along with fresh foods, preventive care, and immunity boosting nutritional supplements such as Pediasure can help kids grow with a complete and balanced nutrient amalgamation for the body.1, 4, 5

Flu vs A Cold

Sore throat, nasal symptoms, runny nose, congestion, and coughs are common in both. The difference is the severity and speed of onset. Colds usually stop with a runny or stuffy nose that goes away after a few days and fevers are rare. For the flu, symptoms are more intense and begin abruptly with persistent muscle pain, cramps, sore throat, headache, and a fever. Since the symptoms are more severe and lasts longer with a minimum of a week of feeling fatigued, the flu can lead to more severe complications like pneumonia.2, 3

 

To care: Take their temperature and monitor. A common cold rarely goes above 101℉ (≙38℃). Keep your child away from crowded places as much as possible and allow them plenty of rest. Provide them plenty of fluids, warm soup, warm milk or alternative (eg, Pediasure can be made with warm or cold water), vitamin C rich veggies and fruits, and hot compresses to help with body aches and give their body’s immunity a boost.2, 3

Diarrhea and vomiting

These two symptoms can be an indicator of the flu so to rule it out, taking your children’s temperature and look for other common flu symptoms.3 Otherwise, digestive issues are most commonly caused by unclean food & drinks contaminated with E. coli, parasites, or salmonella. However, food allergies and intolerance can also be the culprit.1

To care: Keep your child well hydrated with fluids as diarrhea or vomiting can cause dehydration. Since solids may be difficult to take in, plain or lightly flavored porridge or toast are easily digestible. Also adding probiotics rich foods or supplements like Pediasure can help regulate the microbiome in the gut to help fight off the bad bacteria. Pediasure also contains a healthy amount of fiber to help bulk up stool and slow transit time of food.1, 3

Prevention for All: Hand washing before meals, avoiding contact with those you suspect to be ill, and keeping children from putting potentially contaminated objects in their mouths prevents most illnesses. Since a healthier body is better at defending against infections, a balanced diet with an immune boosting nutritional supplement like Pediasure can help. Scientifically formulated with 37 key nutrients that include growth supporting protein, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin E, your child can play growth catch up and live a fully enriched life.1, 4, 5

References:

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/toddler/common-illness#
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/coldflu.htm#:~:text=What%20are%20the%20symptoms%20of,than%20the%20symptoms%20of%20flu.
  3. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-cold-symptoms
  4. https://pediasure.com/child-development-nutrition/powerful-nutrition-kids
  5. https://pediasuremyanmar.com/formulation-support/

Immune System Development: Probiotic Bacteria and Prebiotic Fiber to the Fore

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Immune System Development: Probiotic Bacteria and Prebiotic Fiber to the Fore

Your child immune defense is like a door that protects the body from bacteria, viruses and other antigens that have the potential to cause illness. With the help of certain nutrients, your child can maintain a healthy intestinal tract and promote development of the cells and antibodies that fight antigens. A well-balanced diet is essential for a healthy immune defense system. 1

The first step to a healthy immune system is:          

Knowing Your Nutrients!

The first step to a healthy immune system

  • Nucleotides– Essential for normal cell function and replication
  • Prebiotics– Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) & Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) is food to support the growth of probiotics
  • Zinc and Vitamin A, C and E– Help to protect cells from free radicals that may have escaped the natural processes of the child body system

 

Immune-boosting tips

  • Give it a shot– Check with your child’s doctor to make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Nourish his diet– While missing certain vitamins and minerals may weaken immune response, diets rich in nucleotides (lean meat and mushrooms), prebiotics (nuts, beans, and whole grains), and probiotics (yogurt) can help strengthen it
  • Breathe easy– Avoid exposure to immune weakening cigarette smoke and toxic substances (household cleaners, fertilizers, and pesticides)
  • Get physical– Exercise isn’t just good for physical and mental development, it will get his immunity in shape, too

Reference(s):

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/science/immune-system

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