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                  Health Guide For Children

What your child eats is very important for his or her health.

Help your child maintain a healthy weight by providing proper foods and encouraging regular exercise.

Be sure your child has proper dental/oral health.

Follow the nutrition and dental guidelines below.

Guidelines for a Healthy Dietó0-2 Years Old
  • Breast milk is the best single food for infants from birth to 6 months of age. It provides good nutrition and protects against infection. Breast feeding should be continued for at least the first year, if possible. If breast feeding is not possible or not desired, iron-enriched formula (not cow's milk) should be used during the first 12 months of life. Whole cow's milk can be used to replace formula or breast milk after 12 months of age.
  • Breast-fed babies, particularly if dark-skinned, who do not get regular exposure to sunlight may need to receive Vitamin D supplements.
  • Begin suitable solid foods at 4-6 months of age. Most experts recommend iron-enriched infant rice cereal as the first food.
  • Start new foods one at a time to make it easier to identify problem foods. For example, wait 1 week before adding each new cereal, vegetable, or other food.
  • Use iron-rich foods, such as grains, iron-enriched cereals, and other grains and meats.
  • Do not give honey to infants during the first 12 months of life.
  • Do not limit fat during the first 2 years of life.
Guidelines for a Healthy Dietó2 Years and Older
  • Provide a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Use salt (sodium) and sugars in moderation.
  • Encourage a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
Dental/Oral Health:

Your child needs regular dental care starting at an early age.

Talk with your dentist to schedule the first visit.

Good oral health requires good daily care.

Follow the guidelines below. 

For Babies
  • If most of your child's nutrition comes from breast feeding, or if you live in an area with too little fluoride in the drinking water (less than .3 ppm for children less than 2 years old, less than .7 ppm for children over 2 years old), your child may need fluoride drops or tablets. Ask your health care provider or local water department about the amount of fluoride in your water. 
  • Don't use a baby bottle as a pacifier or put your child to sleep with a baby bottle. This can cause tooth decay and ear infections.
  • Keep your infant's teeth and gums clean by wiping with a moist cloth after feeding.

  • When multiple teeth appear, begin gently brushing your infant's teeth using a soft toothbrush and a very small (pea-sized) amount of toothpaste with fluoride.
For Older Children
  • Talk with your dentist about dental sealants. They can help prevent cavities in permanent teeth.
  • Use dental floss to help prevent gum disease. Talk with your dentist about when to start.
  • Do not permit your child to smoke or chew tobacco. Set a good example: don't use tobacco products yourself.
  • If a permanent tooth is knocked out, rinse it gently and put it back into the socket or in a glass of cold milk or water. See a dentist immediately.
Article Source - U.S. Department of Education.

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