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Although the official recommendation is for kids to get 19 to 25 grams of fiber a day nearly as much as an adult needs , a more realistic goal is to follow the "rule of five": Add five to your child's age in order to get her minimum daily grams.

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For example, a 4-year-old should get at least 9 grams of fiber a day—that's the amount in two slices of whole-grain bread, a half cup of strawberries, and a half cup of brown rice. Mix some in with your child's favorite cereal to smooth the transition—and put some sliced fruit on top. Children are getting less than 60 percent of the recommended dose of potassium—in part because many of them don't have enough fruit and vegetables in their diet. Potassium is a key player in maintaining healthy fluid balance and blood pressure and helping muscles to contract.

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Your Child's Growth (for Parents)

Slice sweet potatoes into discs or sticks, toss with olive oil, and bake on a sheet until they're brown and crispy. For kids ages 4 and up with no nut allergies, make trail mix by tossing some unshelled into a baggie with dried apricots. A recent study found that up to 20 percent of kids ages 1 to 3 aren't getting enough iron. Low iron is especially common among overweight children, who may have a high-calorie but nutrient-poor diet.


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Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to cells throughout the body and plays a role in brain development—and a chronic deficit can cause learning and behavior problems. Doctors aren't sure why, but having low iron levels also ups a child's risk of lead poisoning because it increases absorption of lead into the bloodstream.

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Contrary to popular belief, there's no reason to save meat for last when you start your baby on solids, says Dr. You can give him pureed beef, turkey, and chicken soon after he tries his first real food.


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While every child is unique and will develop different personalities, the following are some of the common behavioral traits that may be present in your child:. Set and provide appropriate limits, guidelines, and expectations and consistently enforce using appropriate consequences.

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Encourage your child to talk about peer pressure and help set guidelines to deal with peer pressure. This will help them accept the changes positively. Kids who are short often face teasing by peers and may need help coping.

5 Power Foods All Kids Need

For example, it might be hard for a small boy to make the football team. But focusing on alternatives, such as soccer or tennis, may make him feel better about himself and what he can do.


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  6. Try to understand your child's feelings and keep the lines of communication open. Another way to boost your child's mood is to encourage activities that don't focus on height or weight. Special skills and individual qualities, such as musical talent or a love of literature, are things to be proud of too.

    The Growing Child: School-Age (6 to 12 Years)

    Some parents worry about their child's growth and development. So it can be reassuring to know that most kids who are short or delayed in development are healthy and normal. For example, shorter parents tend to have shorter children and not all kids develop at the same rate. If you have concerns, talk with your doctor. The doctor can examine your child, ask questions about your family history and, if needed, order tests to see if there's a medical condition affecting growth.

    The doctor may check your child's growth more often or refer your child to a pediatric endocrinologist a doctor who treats growth disorders.

    For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.