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Nutrition Specialist

Great Destinations Pediatrics

A Private Pediatric Practice & Board Certified Pediatricians located in Peoria, AZ

Food is fuel, and a nutritious diet is essential for growing bodies. Kids can be picky eaters, but you can help them make healthy eating choices. Karen Prentice, DO, FAAP, Kristin Shepherd, MD, FAAP, Robyn Alfeche MD FAAP, and their pediatric team at Great Destinations Pediatrics treat food as medicine for a healthy body. Let them help you and your family learn about nutrition and establish healthy eating habits for life. Contact the Peoria, Arizona, office online today or call for an appointment.

Nutrition Q & A

Why is healthy eating important?

The food that you eat affects all aspects of your well-being. A healthy, balanced diet gives your body essential fuel and helps it function at its peak — whether you’re a child, teenager, or adult.

As a parent, teaching your child to eat a nutritious diet benefits them throughout their life. The Great Destinations Pediatrics team enjoys helping families find ways to make eating healthy foods fun. They work with children and teenagers to give them the tools they need to make healthy choices for themselves.

Like adults, kids are susceptible to chronic health conditions like obesity and prediabetes. A healthy diet can lower those risks. The providers at Great Destinations Pediatrics will monitor kids’ cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels. If necessary, they will recommend dietary changes, supplements they can take, and lifestyle changes to keep their blood sugar and lipids within normal ranges.

What makes up a nutritious diet?

Your child’s dietary needs change as they grow. Older or more active kids will need to eat more than younger and less active children.

The amount of food your child needs can change, but the kinds of food they eat are always important. Nutritious diets for children, teenagers, and adults alike include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Whole-milk dairy products in moderation
  • Lean meats, fish, chicken, and turkey
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds

Avoid or limit eating foods high in saturated and trans fats, like fried foods, fast foods, and fatty meats.

Babies shouldn’t be given food or drinks besides breastmilk and/or infant formula before they’re 6 months old. Once your baby sits up on their own, ask your pediatrician how to safely introduce solid foods into their diet.

Does my child have a nutritional deficiency?

Eating a nutritious diet gives your child the vitamins and nutrients their body needs, but nutritional deficiencies can still happen. Your child could have a nutritional deficiency if their body can’t absorb certain nutrients effectively or their diet doesn’t contain enough nutrients.

Among the common nutritional deficiencies in childhood are low levels of calcium, vitamin D, and iron. At your child’s wellness check, your child’s provider will review eating habits and help with suggestions. They offer nutritional deficiency screenings for kids.

If the pediatricians identify a deficiency, they explore ways to treat it with food or supplements to boost your child’s health.

A healthy diet is a stepping stone to a lifetime of wellness. Get nutritional support for your family with a consultation at Great Destinations Pediatrics. Contact the office today online or over the phone.


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