Nutrition can be a challenging subject for many parents. Whether they’re dealing with chaotic mealtimes, picky eaters, or food insecurity, you can support them with proactive screening and advice.
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Parent counseling tips
The importance of vitamin D
- Plays a key role in helping children grow strong bones and teeth*
- Helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus*
- Supports the immune system*
- For babies: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends that babies younger than 12 months old need 400 IU of vitamin D per day beginning soon after birth
- AAP guidelines specify that exclusively or partially breastfed infants, and non-breastfed infants who consume less than 32 ounces a day of formula, should be supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D daily
- For children: The AAP recommends that toddlers, older children, and adolescents need 600 IU of vitamin D each day. Even though the body produces vitamin D from sunlight, studies show that many children still aren’t getting enough of this essential vitamin from the sun alone.
Nutrition tips for parents of picky eaters
- Variety is key: Offer your child a range of foods to help them explore different textures and flavors
- Food bridges: Once a food is accepted, try introducing another food that has a similar texture, flavor, and color
- Handy helpers: Have your child help with meal planning and preparation
- A family affair: Share family meals—studies show that eating together promotes healthy eating habits
- Consider a supplement: Fill nutritional gaps with supplements, like Zarbee’s® Children’s Multivitamin + Immune which contains 12 essential vitamins, including vitamin D
Good to know
AAP recommendations for identifying and mitigating food insecurity
Sixteen million children in the US experience food insecurity, which is known to increase the risk of illness, hospitalization, mental health issues, and poor academic performance.1 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatricians familiarize themselves with local and community resources so they can easily refer patients to WIC, SNAP, school nutrition programs, local food pantries, summer feeding programs, etc.1
The AAP also recommends implementing a simple two-question screening tool1:
1. Within the past 12 months, did you worry that your food would run out before you got money to buy more? (Yes or No)
2. Within the past 12 months, did you find that the food you bought didn’t last and that you didn’t have money to get more? (Yes or No)
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, see recommendations and resources from the AAP.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
REFERENCE: 1. COUNCIL ON COMMUNITY PEDIATRICS; COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION. Promoting food security for all children. Pediatrics. 2015;136(5):e1431-e1438.