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Synopsis

Young children need to consume enough calories to support proper growth and development while maintaining a healthy body weight. Consuming more than the needed calories contributes to the overweight epidemic we are seeing now.

The best way to manage weight is to eat a well-balanced diet that contains foods from all food groups at the recommended amounts, known as portion control. Food groups include dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables and grains. You need to concentrate on feeding your child foods that are low in saturated fat, calories, added sugars in all forms, salt and additives.

To develop properly, your child needs to eat a variety of foods that contain ample amounts of needed nutrients including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Concentrating on eating nutrient-rich foods to the exclusion of higher-fat foods will not only cut calories, but help your child develop a lifelong preference for healthy foods.

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