KIDS & GROWTH

Growing children, and those falling behind in growth, need nutrition that feeds their body and energy needs.

PREGNANCY & CHILDHOOD

How Protein Fuels Development

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From infancy through adolescence, kids need protein to support rapid growth, development and immune health. Yet, research shows that many kids' protein needs go unmet. In fact, as many as one in seven school-aged children in the U.S. fall short of their recommended daily protein targets.1

Here's how to tell if your child is getting enough protein, how to easily add more to their diet, and why this nutrient is so essential for their physical growth and immune health. 

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Protein Deficiency in Kids | Abbott Nutrition

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Believe it or not, one in seven school-aged kids in the U.S. don't get enough protein daily.1  That number is not too shocking when you learn that 30 percent of their total daily calories come from low-nutrient snacks, desserts and candy.2

If your child is not getting enough protein, it can lead to more serious side effects down the road. As a matter of fact, this essential macronutrient is so important for kids that it affects every single part of the body.

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Protein for Child Development | Abbott Nutrition

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Protein is a macronutrient that is vital for child growth and development, yet research shows that one in seven school-aged children do not meet their daily protein intake goals.1

If a child is growing slowly or is small for their age they may not be getting all the protein and nutrients needed for healthy growth. The good news is that with a few changes you can help your child get on track. 

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2020 Year of the Parent

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2020 is the year of the working parent. In many ways, the impact of COVID-19 forced parents into a new reality. Juggling children, working from home, trying to find childcare and ensuring e-learning has challenged families like never before.

And while a global pandemic has pushed working parents' challenges to new heights, something else has bubbled up. 

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Understanding Your Childs Growth Spurt

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During childhood years (ages 6 to 12), your child undergoes steady growth and development with periods of more rapid growth known as “growth spurts.” If they're often hungry in between meals or their pants are suddenly too short, they may be experiencing a growth spurt.

It's important for parents to acknowledge and support their child's growth, especially during the rapid changes of a growth spurt, and reinforce healthy habits and behaviors during this time. Here's what to know. 

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The Nutrients Teen Girls Need

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Between school, sports and maybe a part-time job, the teenage years may be some of the best — and busiest — times in a girl's life.

Those same years may be some of the busiest inside her body, too. While she grows, her body is working hard to add muscle, increase the number of red blood cells and finish building the bones she'll use for the rest of her life. 

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Preparing for Your Adolescents Teenage Growth Spurt

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Adolescence, or the teenage years, is usually a time of major growth and development. Your child may experience a drastic change in height, accompanied by puberty milestones. These adjustments can come on quick and sometimes be surprising — for both your child and you — but the best way to mitigate any confusion is to educate your child on the changes to come.

Parents can play a large role in helping children navigate the adolescent years and become young adults. Knowing the signs of a teenage growth spurt is the first step in helping your child feel safe and supported during this time of change. 

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7 Immune Supporting Lunches and Healthy Snacks for Kids

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This year, as kids head back to school, immune health will understandably be top of mind for many parents.

While you can't protect your child from every germ in the classroom, there are things you can do to support your kid's immune system. In addition to encouraging personal hygiene and safe socialization, one way to help your child navigate their school's classrooms and hallways is packing them a few healthy snacks and a well-rounded lunch. 

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Hydration Tips to Keep Kids at the Top of Their Game

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As kids’ school sports begin again, which results in more intense outdoor play, one common concern among parents is whether their children are getting enough fluids to stay safe in the heat. It's important to keep kids hydrated — but it's not always easy! If you're thinking about hydration in children, there are many hydration tips you can use to make sure your kids play it safe this summer.

Here's what to know about keeping kids hydrated, as well as insight around how to tell when they need more fluids. 

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Fighting Malnutrition to Promote Childhood Growth

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Proper nutrition is the foundation for living the best life possible. It’s especially important to help babies and children grow and reach their full potential. Approximately 60% of adult height is achieved by age 5, making nutrition essential in the early stages of life. Undernutrition in the first five years may challenge a child’s development and limit future potential in terms of academic success, physical development and overall health. 

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Picky Eating Impacts Childrens Immune Health Growth and Development

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As a parent, it's natural to be concerned about your child's growth and development. But lately, many parents have had another pressing issue on their minds. According to a recent International Food Information Council (IFIC) report on children's nutrition, immune health is parents' second-largest nutritional concern, right behind growth and development. This is likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related shifts in social behaviors.

Of course, a healthy diet can help. Yet most parents surveyed said that picky eating is the biggest obstacle to providing the nutritious foods kids need to thrive. 

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Making Sense of Your Childs Growth Chart

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Pediatricians have several different tools they can use to measure your child's health. One of the most powerful among them is the growth chart.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to make sense of all those lines and numbers — if you've felt this before, you're not alone. Here's some valuable insight into how to decode and better understand your child's chart. 

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How to Promote Better Nutrition for Kids at Snacktime

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Snacking gets a bad name, but maybe it shouldn't. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shows that balanced snacks can provide important nutrition for kids and deliver essential vitamins, minerals and protein to support their rapid growth and development.

The trouble is, not all snacks are created equal, nutritionally speaking. Some snacks for kids are packed with key nutrients, whereas, others are filled with salt, saturated fat and empty calories or don’t contain a balance of nutrients because they are mostly fat or carbohydrate. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children consume three meals and two snacks per day.  If you're wondering which snacks are best for your children, this guide can help. 

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Orlando City SCs Dom Dwyer on Parenting, Exercise, and Teamwork | Abbott Nutrition

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I’m sure I speak for most parents when I say COVID-19 and the social lockdown has been a challenge. We’ve had to serve as teachers, chefs, entertainers and housekeepers, all while maintaining our jobs and the most important roles: mom and dad. As a player in the MLS (Major League Soccer) for the Orlando City, I know how critical a team is to success.  You must all be on the same page and work together to accomplish goals. The same can be said for our home lives. The past few months haven’t been easy. This time has shown me that supporting my wife Sydney who is also a professional athlete with a busy schedule, is more important than ever.

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Fact or Fiction: The Infant Immune System and How to Improve Immunity

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Every parent wants to protect their children from illness-causing germs, but not everyone agrees on the best way to do that.

So, when it comes to supporting a child’s immune system, what really works? Here are 12 common immunity beliefs — fact and fiction — to help your family grow up to be strong and healthy. 

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Supplemental Nutrition for Kids | Abbott Nutrition

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Parents have faced many challenges during this global pandemic.  Empty store shelves, children always at home, and possibly a tight grocery budget. The frustration around preparing food at home or trying to find the right types of foods or even coping with budget concerns have challenged the best of us. You strive to provide your child with the right foods, but they can still sometimes fall short of enough nutrients.

So, how can you ensure your child receives optimal nutrition? Step one: Learn which nutrients to focus on. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children don’t get enough of these four key nutrients in their diets.

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How Nutrition for Kids Plays a Pivotal Role in Emotional Well-being

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For years, health experts have observed that undernourished children are more likely to experience behavior problems, struggle in school and have difficulty keeping up in the workplace as adults. While these challenges are multifaceted, feeding your child a balanced diet may help.

But, what does optimal nutrition for kids look like? Here are some best practices to consider when crafting a nutritious diet for your child, so they stand to benefit from all the cognitive and energy benefits that come with eating right. 

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Nutrients for Your Childs Brain and Eye Development

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Every parent wants their child to be healthy and one of the most important factors as children grow is good nutrition. For example, certain nutrients can help support strong bones, a healthy immune system, and so on. Three nutrients are especially important to support the developing brain and eyes: Lutein, Vitamin E, and DHA.

"These key nutrients work together to support brain and eye health," explains Abbott registered dietitian and pediatric nutrition scientist, Beth Reverri, PhD, RD. Fortunately for parents and young children, these nutrients are easy to get from breastmilk, foods, and formulas. 

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Tracking Kids Development with a Growth Chart and Ensuring Proper Nutrition

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Parents love to track their children's growth — and with good reason. This development can be an important indicator of how their overall health is shaping up. But kids' growth isn't always steady. There will likely be periods of rapid growth and times when growth slows or even plateaus.

So, whether you're tracking your child's height on a wall or carefully jotting down measurements in a journal, how can you tell if their growth and development is on track, especially with regard to slowed growth? 

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Nutrition and Child Development | Abbott Nutrition

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Children come in all shapes and sizes. But if you're noticing that your child is shorter or smaller than their friends at school, it's natural to wonder: Is my child growing normally?

And it's a question worth asking. In 2017, the World Bank found that, globally, 22 percent of children younger than five years old are shorter than is recommended for their age. Nutrition and child development go hand in hand, so if you notice your child is falling behind, their diet might be part of the reason. 

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ow to Teach Kids About Nutrition

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As a parent, you want your children to have the healthiest food possible, but good nutrition for kids goes beyond what's being served at the kitchen table today. Even though your kids might need your help now, they'll be making their own decisions about food before you know it.

Jennifer Williams, MPH, pediatric nutrition research scientist with Abbott, shares how you can give them some direction for solid nutrition education. 

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Protein Snacks for Kids

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If a child is growing slowly or is small for their age, nutritious meals are often a good place to start, but they might not be enough. Some children simply don't have the appetite or have eating habits that prevent them from getting all the nutrition they need at mealtimes. Healthy snacks for kids can help provide nutrients that support optimal growth, especially when it comes to protein. 

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6 Signs Your Kid is Having a Growth Spurt | Abbott Nutrition

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If you feel like every time you turn around your child is growing, you may not be imagining it. Peak height velocity — your child's biggest, fastest growth spurt — typically lasts 24 to 36 months. And while it's difficult to say just how much your child will grow during this time, you can count on most of it happening, for girls, between 10 and 14 years, and, for boys, between 12 and 16 years.

But how kids' growth happens involves a complex system of plates and hormones that make it unlike anything else. In contrast to trees, which grow from the ends, a child's bones cannot just add more tissue to their ends.

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