Health Experts Caution Against Overfeeding Toddlers
What they may not know, however, is that toddlers and preschool-aged children still have tiny tummies, so it's important to feed them portion sizes that are appropriate for their age. Not overfeeding children also help parents to teach healthy eating habits that will be critical later on in life, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The Academy lists the following guidelines to help parents feed toddlers and preschoolers appropriate portion sizes:
- Start with a small serving size - always smaller than yours - and let your child ask for more food if still hungry.
- For toddlers, try a tablespoon per year of age, of each food served.
- Pay attention to your child's signs of fullness, and remove food when your child begins playing with food or becoming restless.
- Don't push the "clean plate club" adage of your youth, and instead teach children to stop eating when they are full.
It is estimated that nearly 32 percent of children age 2-19 in the U.S. are overweight or obese. First 5 LA understands the critical need of educating families about the importance of good nutrition. As part of countywide efforts to combat early childhood obesity, it strives to increase access to opportunities that promote healthy lifestyles. First 5 LA currently funds several countywide nutrition and obesity-prevention related initiatives targeting children age 0-5.
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