Toddler Food Guidelines (cont.)
John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Toddler food facts
- What should my toddler be eating?
- How do I ensure that my toddler is getting enough vitamins and minerals?
- How do I get my toddler to eat in general and eat vegetables in particular?
- Is there a limit to how much seafood my toddler can eat each week?
- Is there a limit to how much juice, milk or salt my toddler should consume each day?
- How do I deal with my toddler's temper tantrums at mealtimes?
- Should I be feeding my toddler low-fat foods to avoid childhood obesity?
- Should I be concerned that my toddler eats hair, sand, and dirt?
- How do I incorporate breastfeeding into my toddler's feeding schedule?
- I think my child may have a food allergy. What should I do?
- How can I instill healthy eating habits in my child?
- Where can I find healthy recipes for my toddler?
I think my child may have a food allergy. What should I do?
Food allergies generally represent an immunologic response to a protein found in the suspect food. Symptoms may range from severe (anaphylaxis, asthma, swelling of the vocal cords, abdominal pain, and vomiting) to moderate (hives, tingling of the lips/mouth, eczema) to mild (nasal congestion, sneezing, mild skin rash). Children are most likely to be sensitive to egg whites, milk, and peanuts. Older children and adults are most likely to be sensitive to fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts (for example,. walnuts), and egg whites. Evaluation for food protein allergy may be done either via a blood test (commonly identified as a RAST test) or by an allergist performing "scratch" testing. Children with abdominal pain and/or diarrhea or vomiting after eating wheat, barley, or rye foods may have gluten sensitivity and should be evaluated by their doctor for celiac disease.
How can I instill healthy eating habits in my child?
Nutrition specialists recommend the following to promote proper nutrition.
- Lead by example. If you follow a healthy diet, it is more likely your child will also.
- Avoid "fast foods." These foods are much more likely to have high fat and added salt .
- Don't battle over eating. If your toddler isn't hungry, don't panic. He will eat when he is. If he doesn't eat a meal, don't fill him up with milk.
- Avoid bargaining. "If you eat this, you'll get a cookie."
- Allow treats, but avoid allowing them to become a mainstay of the diet. They should be "a treat."
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