Macronutrients In Children

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The focus on carbohydrates, fats and proteins is macronutrient nutrition, the most level of nutrition because macronutrients represent basic needs and calories. From the point of view of macronutrient nutrition, the vitamins, minerals and other important micronutrients, such as antioxidants, fiber and essential fatty acids, take care of themselves because they are in common foods. Macronutrients are measured in grams. When parents focus on nutrition, they tend to worry about macronutrients, eating enough, and micronutrients, eating well. Micronutrients are measured in milli- and micrograms. A milligram is one thousandth the size of a green Monopoly house. Other nutrients such as Vitamins A and D are measured in International Units, a measure of potency but still a small amount.

Parents naturally want to provide a complete diet. The combination of facts and feelings is almost too powerful to resist, not to mention, the power that comes from being older and bigger. The parent's desire, however, may be different from the child's once the food is on the plate.
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The previously fine mealtimes disappear when the parent's desire to nurture meets the child's desire for independence. While parents worry about micro and macro nutrients, your toddler is looking for you to acknowledge a different need that could be called developmental or life cycle nutrition. In developmental nutrition, food satisfies hunger and the desire to develop mastery. The differing goals between parent and child are behind most feeding problems. The natural parenting desire to provide macro and micronutrients gets separated from the child's desire to self feed. The breakdown is not unlike your nutrition disconnect with your pediatrician. Different ideas of nutrition can collide. Just ask Dean Ornish and Dr.

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