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Moms’ frequently asked questions about their child’s nutrition

It seems like every day brings new restrictions and guidelines about your child’s diet. Keeping all of the new information straight may be a challenge. Mandi Turner, registered pediatric dietician at Banner Health in Arizona, helped clear up the confusion for some moms.

Q: How much juice is too much?
A: The American Academy of Pediatric suggests no more than four ounces per day and it must be 100 percent fruit juice.Q: Is a multivitamin really an acceptable substitute for kids who do not like veggies?

A: We don’t recommend parents give their kids a multivitamin because they contain no fiber. Multivitamins are synthetic so they aren’t providing your child real nutrients and they aren’t absorbed as well as real nutrients by the body.Q: Everyone knows they should be feeding less sugar to their kids. But when treats say low sugar they usually have a sugar substitute like Splenda or Aspartame. I’ve heard these are unacceptable for youngsters, though. What is your take on these ingredients for kids?A: Splenda is fine. Treats that say low sugar or even sugar free usually have just as many carbohydrates as regular treats. As with any food, check the label. Unless your child is on a specific diet, I would recommend portion control and offering your children healthy treats. You can find more information on aspartame here.Q: My kid is a very picky eater. I’ve tried to introduce him to different foods but then he just won’t eat so I’ve resorted to feeding him the same thing every single day because I know he’ll eat it. Is there something I can do differently?A: Have your kids pick out things at the grocery store, mix their favorite foods with other foods. Set a good example by eating varied meals yourself. Kids love to copy their parents. If you always give them the food they like when they say they won’t eat anything else, then they won’t try new things. If you are still having trouble getting your kids to eat fruits or vegetables, try pureeing different fruits and vegetables and mix the pureed foods in with foods that your child likes. You also can check out these books for more suggestions: Deceptively Delicious and Sneaky Chef.

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