Why food and fluid are important.
It is important to act on the dietary advice you are given, but it’s not always easy. Time, expense and what your child will and won’t eat can make it really tricky.
Using ready meals and packaged food is appealing but can be much less straightforward than you would imagine. Labels are often confusing and frequently these foods lack some of the essential nutrients a child needs. It can be a lot simpler to stick to fresh food; at least that way you can control what is going in without worrying about the consequences.
Water is vital! We can go for weeks without food but only days without water. Every bodily function, especially digestion, needs water. Water transports nutrients, it flushes away waste and it controls our body temperature.
Children don't always recognise the sensation of thirst so regular fluid intake is essential.
Fluid intake can also be increased by foods like soup, jelly and yoghurt.
By planning meals that include a variety of foods in the correct portion sizes and by drinking 8 – 10 glasses of fluid a day most people will absorb all the nutrients they need.
FOOD FACTS & TIPS
Porridge makes for a healthy breakfast. It’s cheap, it is a soluble fibre that helps prevent constipation and you can add lots of things to it to make it more appealing to a child - but beware: fibre without fluid stays hard so drink an extra glass of water!
Lunch is not going to be converted into energy until mid-afternoon or early evening so a child may need regular nutritious snacks to maintain a continual supply of energy.
Too much fatty and sugary food can stimulate reflux, cramping and diarrhoea.
If your child is suffering from bad wind, cut back on gas producing food such as broccoli, lentils, raisins, onions, bagels and beans.
Probiotics are ’good’ bacteria that help to restore the natural balance of the gut. They are available in live yoghurt and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and miso. We give Spike a probiotic supplement.