Appropriate growth is the best indicator as to whether a child is eating enough to meet their energy needs. The best way to monitor this is to use a growth chart which will take into account weight as well as height in a growing child.
An appropriate energy intake does not necessarily mean that a child is getting all the nutrients that they need. A limited or restricted diet can lead to an inadequate intake of fibre, protein or fat and vitamins and minerals. A varied diet with food from each of the food groups in suitable portion sizes should mean that a child is meeting all their nutritional needs.
In addition to a balanced diet, children also need vitamin D to be supplemented as dietary intake isn’t enough to compensate for the low levels of sun exposure in the UK.
Children are generally good at eating to appetite (until they are full). As long as appropriate foods are offered at appropriate times, their nutritional requirements should be met in full.
Mini Mealtimes supports parents to be confident that they are offering the appropriate foods in appropriate quantities to meet the nutritional requirements of growing children.