10 Myths on Child Nutrition all Parents Must Know

1. White Bread is Not Good
Although whole wheat bread is the ideal choice, white bread can not be labeled as an unhealthy food. Brown bread is higher in fiber and helps prevent constipation, but many white bread brands these days are enhanced with B vitamins and iron which makes it acceptable. The fiber they miss on eating brown bread can be substituted with extra fruit. 

2. Sugar Causes Kids to be Hyper Active 
There are no studies confirming that sugar makes kids hyper active. The myth is likely to have it’s origin from parents noticing that children become more active after consuming chocolates or soda drinks. Both these food items contain the stimulant caffeine and are likely the causes of the followed extra activity.

3. Children Must Eat Red Meat to Prevent Anemia
There are many alternative sources of iron other than red meat. Considering the fact that toddlers at times battle to chew red meat they tend to have a preference for vegetables and easy to chew foods. Although red meat contains an easily absorbed form of iron, giving your child spinach, beans, cereals, raisins, molasses, eggs, dark meat poultry, and certain fish, will ensure he or she absorb all the iron he or she needs without consuming red meat.

4. Fruit Juice is Healthier
It is true that pure fruit juice is healthier than a soda, but to quench a thirst choosing water or milk is a better choice. Limiting a child’s juice intake is important to prevent a decrease in appetite for healthier beverages such as water and milk. The high sugar content in juice can cause an upset stomach or be detrimental to their teeth if consumed excessively. Juice should be offered as a treat and not as a drink to quench a thirst. 

5. Children Must Eat Vegetables 
Substituting vegetables with fruits is a good alternative for children who have an affinity for sweet tasting foods. Providing fruits while they learn to tolerate or becomes accustomed to vegetables still provides children with the nutritional value, fiber and vitamin content vegetables would. Keep to the golden rule of five portions of fruit or vegetables per day, whether it is fruits or vegetables. Continue to offer vegetables even though the child does not want to eat it. In time children come to accept vegetables too especially if they see their parents eating them.

6. Limited Fat Intake Prevents Obesity 
Because of the rapid development of the brains and nervous system of small children, 40 percent of their daily calorie intake should be fat. Fats contain fatty acids and other fat components that is needed for optimal brain development. Older children need fatty acids for proper growth, the production of sex hormones, healthy skin, and absorption of vitamins. 

7. Milk is a Must for Strong Bones
Although milk is the best source of calcium for growing kids, if a child can not drink milk due to lactose intolerance or simply because he or she does not like milk, other food sources will provide adequate amounts of calcium needed for the development of strong bones. Other dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, broccoli, vegetables with dark green leafs, and calcium fortified juices and soy milk will provide the necessary calcium required. 

8. Dairy Products Worsen a Cold
There is no scientific proof that consuming dairy products during a cold or flue worsen the symptoms. Some people believe that dairy products thickens the nasal secretions or increases the production of mucus or both. The specific flue or cold virus is the cause of producing mucus at the back of the throat and in the nose. Some dairy products may cause a lining at the back of the throat that may feel as if there is more mucus. 

9. Be Cautious when Introducing Solid Food to Prevent Allergies
The occurrence of allergies are not at all as common as many people believe. Food allergies transpire when the immune system of a child attacks the usually harmless food and it results in a reaction such as eczema, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, or in very rare cases anaphylaxis. There is no reason to be vigilant when introducing solid food to your child to prevent allergies. If you think that a certain food causes allergies, discuss it with your pediatrician. 

10. Feed the Cold and Starve a Fever 
It is very dangerous to “starve a fever” and withhold food or fluids from a sick child. It is highly likely that while your child is sick he or she would not want to eat or drink certain foods or fluids. The best is to feed them whatever they feel like eating or drinking and give them as much fluids as possible to ensure the do not dehydrate.