The Role of Nutrition in Promoting Healthy Development in Children

Good nutrition is important for everyone, especially children. Your child isn’t through growing and developing. Your child’s body needs help from the nutrients and vitamins contained in foods.

Good nutrition plays an important role in:

Your child’s immune system – a robust immune system helps protect your child from illness.

Your child’s circulatory system – a healthy blood supply feeds your child’s organs and tissues, to provide optimal growth and development.

Your child’s musculoskeletal system – strong bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments give your child protection against injury.

Your child’s nervous system – healthy brain and nervous system function can ensure your child meets developmental milestones.

These are some of the guidelines for proper caloric intake, according to healthychildren.org:

  • If your child is 2-3 years old, your child needs 1000 calories daily
  • If your child is 4-8 years old, your child needs 1200-1400 calories daily
  • If you have a daughter who is 9-13 years old, she needs 1400-1600 calories daily
  • If your daughter is 14-18 years old, she needs 1800 calories daily
  • If you have a son who is 9-13 years old, he needs 1600-2000 calories daily
  • If your son is 14-18 years old, he needs 2000-2400 calories daily

Along with the right number of calories, your child needs to eat nutrient-dense foods like these:

  • Lean proteins like turkey, chicken, and fish
  • Fruits, including whole fruits, not fruit juices
  • Vegetables, including green leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains, including rice, whole wheat, and quinoa
  • Low-fat dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt

Try to limit the amount of junk food, fast food, and snacks your child eats. These foods contain calories, often in high amounts, but they have very little nutritional value.

To view and print an informative Children’s Food Pyramid Coloring Page, please click here:

To find out more about the importance of nutrition and how it can help with your child’s growth and development, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.

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