The ages between one and five years of age can be very exciting. Your little person is starting to become more independent and tries to develop his own individuality; he also starts to learn new words. One of the first words they like to use is NO! You may encounter many objections over things like getting dressed, eating their food or bed time. As a smart mother you will develop ways to direct these confrontations into successful results that are mutually agreeable. Good strategies are especially important when it comes to meal times. Here the results of an all out nutrition war can be hard on you, but it could result in poor eating habits for your child’s eating habits later in life.
The most important rule to remember when your child says no to food is:
You control what he eats and he controls how much he eats. For example this means that it is not productive to tell a toddler he won’t get cookies unless he eats everything on his plate. This might seem like a good idea at a time when he is refusing to eat his beans, if you do try and barter this situation he will think cookies are one of the most important things in life, while having to eat green beans is punishment.
A better strategy is that desert is on the menu and so are vegetables, soup or whatever it happens to be that day. You decide the menu, and serve your toddler everything on the menu. He does not get to ask for anything that is not on the menu. But if he really refuses to eat the green beans that night, he can decide not to eat them. He will still get dessert, because it is on the menu. There is a good chance that if this is not made into a big issue, the next time green beans are served he will eat them. It is also important that your toddler join in at meal time at the table with the rest of the family, this way he can learn that meals are a sociable occasion and that lots of other people actually like eating green beans.
Children like all of us naturally like sweets, so make your deserts as nutritious as possible, so that when they are consumed they are not just sugars and nonessential fats, both of which can weaken their immune system.
Your child’s immune system is growing and learning along with the rest of him. He will get infections, cold, sore throats, flu and ear aches. Following good nutritional guide lines will help to booster your child’s immune system defenses.
A child’s immune system has to become familiar with and learn to recognize the thousands of germs, viruses, fungi and other microbes that invade everyone’s body in the course of a lifetime.
Every time your child gets an infection it will serve to teach and strengthen his immune system, so that the next time that particular microbe invades his body, he won’t get sick. The healthier his lymphocytes are, the faster they will learn, and the more quickly they will enable the killer cells to destroy the invader.
With good nutrition, and a well adjusted balanced immune system, most of your toddlers infections should be fairly mild. Providing foods rich in EFA’s and the key cofactor nutrients which help his body to metabolize them will help keep his white blood cells healthy. Your child should also receive foods that are high in antioxidants that fight the damage done to EFA’s by free radicals.
The preschool years are the only time you will have to control over your child’s nutritional intake. Once he starts school and peer pressure becomes important to him, the temptations of junk foods will become tempting. At this age he is developing his tastes and by feeding him nutritious foods that are naturally sweet, you will help him to develop a taste for them, rather than the sugar-loaded, too sweet candies and other sugar laden snacks. This also goes for nutritional foods that have been broiled, baked, grilled or stir-fried and that he has become used to eating at home versus hamburgers, chicken nuggets and deep fried foods at fast food restaurants; these will be too greasy for him as he is not used to them.
To help support your child’s immune system, it will be necessary to add some supplements to help keep him healthy as our foods are no longer grown in ideal conditions as they once were. I recommend children’s chewable Herbasaurus Multi vitamins. Food sources for some of these nutrients are Essential Fatty Acids in the form of Flax seeds and oil are important for hair, skin and nails as well. Fish is an excellent source of EFA’s also. Anti oxidants such as vitamin A– from carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, red peppers, pumpkin, broccoli and liver. Vitamin E– from oatmeal, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, and unrefined EFA rich oils. Vitamin C– from citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers, and broccoli. B vitamins from whole grains (except corn) and organic dairy. Zinc from liver, and organic meats. Copper from fish, sesame seeds, tofu, and kidney beans. Manganese from brown rice, oatmeal, split peas, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, and blackberries; Selenium from fish, shellfish, and oatmeal.
Your child is going to need lots of calcium in his growing years as his bones grow and he uses his legs more and more, walking, running, and playing. I recommend 600 – 800 mg. daily. Good sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables, beans and chick peas, sesame seeds tofu, yogurt, as well as some milk. Too much milk is actually not healthy. Milk is low in iron and zinc blocks their absorption. Sixteen ounces is all that is recommended per day, the rest should come from other foods.
The products and herbs that I recommend in this information are safe for a child as long as the size and weight of the child are accounted for and the dosage is adjusted accordingly.