Q: Friends of mine have a toddler who only eats bagels, pizza, oatmeal, apples and toast – no meats, pastas or vegetables. How healthy is this?
A: At some point in time most children will go through phases where they may be considered "picky eaters." In fact, being a picky eater is part of normal toddlerhood and very seldom will eating issues turn into eating disorders later on. What most parents consider eating problems, in fact, may be very normal behavior for children between the ages of two to six. Children this age will often go through food binges, consuming only one or two foods for a stretch of days, or only a handful of foods for a month or two. Rest assured that this is very common behavior for this age group and most children will not have trouble meeting nutritional requirements. Think about it from a larger perspective. Rather than strictly enforcing the child to have foods from each food group at every meal, it's more important that the child has a variety of foods over the period of days to weeks. Furthermore, if your child is meeting developmental milestones, then their dietary consumption is likely to be just fine. Toddlers and young children will need approximately 1000 to 1600 calories each day at minimum. A rough estimate of required caloric intake can be calculated by starting with 1000 calories and adding 100 calories for each year of their age. For example, if your child is 5 years old he or she will require at least 1500 calories (1000+500) per day. If you have any concerns about your child's eating habits or development, it is very important to speak to your pediatrician or family physician.
Thanks to Kosmix Corporation / RightHealth