Important facts about nutrition and children
· Children need good role models to develop a taste for healthy foods and a healthy attitude about food.
· Children’s growing bodies need healthy fat found naturally in foods like higher-fat milk, cheese, nuts and vegetable oils.
· Children need healthy, nutritionally balanced breakfasts to give them the energy they need to learn and play.
· Children need variety, including: choices from each food group, foods with a variety of colour, texture (ex: crunchy, soft, chewy) and temperature
· Children need variety, including: choices from each food group foods with a variety of colour, texture (ex: crunchy, soft, chewy) and temperature.
Infant feeding (ages 0 – 2)
Daily communication with families can help an infant’s overall health and well-being. Ask families about their feeding preferences; work with them to develop a feeding plan for their infants; and discuss which foods have been introduced at home.
Breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed a baby. Health Canada recommends breast milk as the only food babies should consume until they are six months old, with continued breastfeeding for two years, or longer.
Support breastfeeding mothers and their children by:
· welcoming breastfeeding mothers into your facility
· offering them a quiet and comfortable place to sit and feed their children
· encouraging them to send expressed breast milk from home, if possible
For mothers who are not breastfeeding, iron-fortified infant formula is the next best choice. Infants who are fed formula should continue to have formula until they are nine months to one year old, at which time they may be ready for whole cow’s milk (3.25% MF).
Introducing solid foods
When infants are six months old, they are usually ready to start eating small amounts of solid foods containing iron. Solid foods provide nutrients and textures needed for healthy growth and development. At this time, breast milk and/or formula with iron should still be baby’s main food.
SIGNS AN INFANT IS READY FOR SOLID FOODS
· sit up with very little help
· hold their head up
· open their mouth when food is offered
· turn their head to refuse food