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Caloric Intake, Protein and Iron

by bkhoury on June 10, 2010

The other day we had a large family meal and everyone at the table was shocked at the amount of food my two boys consumed.  It is true.  Sometimes Will eats more than my husband.  The common thinking was that because they are boys, they will eat more.  Then the other day a couple of ladies commented on my eight month old.  “Oh what a healthy boy he is.”  In other words he’s a chubbo! 

Now honestly, I’m not worried AT ALL about my boy’s weight.  I know they are the appropriate weight from well-visits and they love the fresh, healthy food I feed them.  I think every parent secretly wonders to themselves if their child is getting all the needed nutrients.  If you have a picky eater, you wonder for different reasons. 

I have found it difficult to pin down doctors on what the proper caloric range is for kids.  The response is always: let the child be your guide.  Just offer them healthy food.  I do this, but still with my personality, I want numbers.  The “Yale Guide to Children’s Nutrition” quantifies it (a little) by listing the healthy range for 1 - 3 year olds as 900 - 1800 daily calories. 

Interestingly, “The Yale Guide” also says that if your toddler drinks 2 cups of milk and eats 1 ounce of meat per day, they are obtaining a sufficient amount of protein - 16 grams per day.  I often worry about this since starches, fruits and vegetables are always preferred in our house.  Along those same lines, iron found in foods such as chicken, ground beef, spinach or fortified breakfast cereals needs to be consumed because kids under the age of 3 are at an increased risk of anemia.  And in fact Will was border-line anemic at his first birthday. 

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