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General Nutrition
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- children
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Nutrition for Children


Video: Fruit



Freedom of Choice


The Issue:
Many children are given money to buy food for themselves. Children usually go for high fat and sugar foods because they taste good but have very little nutritional value. Family members may also buy the food that children ask for which may not be the most nutritious.



Possible ways to address the issue:
Parents should have some control over the food their children buy. They should also ask family members to buy the kids better foods if children ask for something at the shop. This doesn’t mean they need to totally deny their children the sweet or high fat foods that they really want. These foods can be eaten but it’s best to buy them in very small amounts and not every day. If children want a treat buy them healthy products such as nuts, fruit, fruit cups, dried fruit, fruche, flavoured milk poppers, yoghurt and frozen yoghurt. Find out about healthy food ideas for children.




Variety of Foods

The issue:

If children aren’t encouraged to eat a variety of foods they could be consuming a diet that lacks essential nutrients for health and growth. Children can go through phases of fussy eating. These eating habits can continue as they grow older if they are not addressed.


Possible ways to address the issue:

Parents can learn about the different food groups and help their children to understand this. Parents should find ways to encourage their children to eat foods from each of the food groups and different foods from within each food group. For example, within the vegetable food group, parents can offer different coloured vegetables such as red, green, yellow and orange and the same with fruits. Find out more about healthy foods for children.




Dental Health


The issue:

Lack of dental care and high amounts of sugary foods and drinks can contribute to the formation of dental cavities. Children who lose their teeth from decay can have adult teeth growing incorrectly. Also, bad dental hygene in children can lead to the same behaviour in adulthood resulting in the lost opportunity to have strong healthy teeth throughout their life.


Possible ways to address the issue:

Children should be encouraged to consume less sugary foods and drinks such as cordials, soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices and sweet foods. They should be encouraged to rinse their mouths with water after foods or drinks and brush their teeth morning and night. Find out more about dental health.






The issue:
Iron deficient anaemia can be a result of not eating enough foods containing iron. Anaemia can cause fatigue and tiredness, slow brain development and reduced immune function. This means it is much  easier for you to develop illness and diseases.


Possible ways to address the issue:
Children should be encouraged to have iron foods every day. There are easy ways to do this. Good iron foods include: red meats, other meats, eggs, breads and cereals and green vegetables. Iron in non-animal foods can be taken into the body better when they are eaten with a food containing vitamin C. Vitamin C foods include citrus fruits and tomato. Tea can block iron in food from being taken into the body so should not be drunk at meal times. Find out more about iron foods for babies and growing children