Growing children, and those falling behind in growth, need nutrition that feeds their body and energy needs.
Your Child's Growth and Development: Is Picky Eating Getting in the Way?
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.
Decoding Your Child's Growth Chart
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. A Window Into Your Child's Health The growth chart might seem like just another piece of paper, but it's packed with several important insights. On the surface, it can look like these charts are simply about height and weight; however, growth is an indicator of many aspects of your child's health and well-being, such as cognitive development, immunity and nutrition status. One Size Doesn't Fit All The growth chart uses a set of measurements, called percentiles, to compare your child's weight, height and head size (in the case of infants) to those of other children of the same age and sex. The higher the percentile, the larger a child is compared to their peers. Conversely, the lower the percentile, the smaller the child. For example, if your child is in the 75th percentile for height, that means they are taller than 75% of kids their age. Kids of average height for their age based on WHO Child growth standards would measure in the 50th percentile. It's natural to assume bigger is better, but that's not necessarily the case. Many factors influence a child's size, including genetics, diet, and even their environment. Instead of focusing on a specific goal, pediatricians are far more interested in each child's individual growth trend. For instance, a child who has consistently been in the 30th percentile for height or weight might be experiencing perfectly healthy growth; however, if that number were to suddenly drop to the 15th percentile or below, further investigation might make sense. Adding Up the Numbers Because children experience different rates of growth according to their age, there are two basic types of growth charts. The first is designed for newborns and babies up to age 2, while the other is for kids and young adults between the ages of 2 and 20. At every wellness visit, your pediatrician will measure your child's height and weight to keep close tabs on their growth trend. Then, they'll plot these figures on the chart. You don't have to wait until your child's next appointment to learn the results. You can download the same charts they use and plot the results yourself.
Dedication & Resilience: 2020 is The Year of the Parent
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. Support. Parents are supporting each other. Communities are supporting parents. Businesses are supporting parents. Companies have had to lean into flexibility in order to support parents more than ever before. National Working Parent’s Day This year, Abbott, makers of Similac, support working parents on this day because we know that the demands on them have been extraordinary, and still they’ve persevered and triumphed under very challenging environmental factors and nearly impossible everyday circumstances. Similac created the Promises Project to develop supportive communities that share positivity and help parents stay connected, which is more important than ever. The program communicates common struggles parents take on daily – whether juggling childcare, working from home and homeschooling, or simply feeling judged for decisions we make as parents – the Promises Project reminds all parents to encourage and lift each other up.
How to Promote Better Nutrition for Kids at Snacktime
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.
Orlando City SC's Dom Dwyer on Nutrition, Exercise, and Being a Great Teammate On and Off the Field
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.
Fact or Fiction: Immunity in Infants and Children
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.
4 Ingredients Your Child May Not Be Getting Enough Of
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.
How Protein Fuels Child Development
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 targets1. 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.
How Nutrition Can Shape a Child's Emotional Well-being
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.
Supporting Brain and Eye Development in Young Children
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.
How Nutrition Can Fuel Optimal Growth in Children
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.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Nutrition
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.
Why Kids Need Healthy Protein Snacks
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.
The Signs of Protein Deficiency in Kids
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.