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Re: Not Just Opinions but Facts.............


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Posted by Lisa S on October 21, 2003 at 10:14:55:

In Reply to: Not Just Opinions but Facts............. posted by Lily on October 21, 2003 at 00:43:31:

: BrainWonders: Fifteen Month Visit

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: Nutrition, Independence and Self-Feeding

: At the time when pediatric clinicians advise parents to switch their children from formula to whole milk, they can also use the opportunity to discuss brain development and nutrition. At this age, toddlers need the fat and protein in whole milk that is essential to the growing and myelinating brain. One cup of whole milk provides 8 g of fat, 12g of carbohydrate and 8 g of protein. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that everyone older than 2 years follow a diet that includes no more than 30% of calories from fat and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day (ages 2-5 represent a transition period between the higher fat diet of infancy and the population based recommended fat intake.) Nonfat and low fat milks are not recommended for use during the first two years of life because of the lower calorie density compared with high fat products.

: By 15 months, most toddlers have begun to assert their independence and autonomy around feeding. They may refuse to eat any foods that they cannot eat by themselves or they may choose to eat a very limited range of foods. Parents who have been very diligently trying to feed their child a healthy diet may worry now that their child seems to exist on "three string beans a day".

: Through asking open-ended questions, pediatric clinicians can help parents sort out which of their feeding concerns are truly nutritional and which center around the toddler's growing wish for power and control in his relationship with parents. To address the nutritional questions of "is my child getting enough to eat?", pediatric clinicians can monitor the child's growth and offer reassurance by reviewing the child's growth charts with the family.

: To support parents as they adjust to the emerging bids for power and autonomy from their young toddlers, pediatric clinicians can normalize the toddler's desire for independence as an important developmental milestone - becoming one's own person. Asking parents whether they also see this push for control in other arenas such as refusing to sit in the carseat or stroller, unwillingness to lie still for a diaper change, or wanting to "do it self", can help them understand that this is not a battle over food, but rather a normal response to their toddler's growing desire for self-control and autonomy.

: Caregiving Implications:

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: Although parents may express concern about the fat content in whole milk, emphasize the importance of fat to the process of myelination of the brain. When counseling families with young children about diet, practitioners should inquire about the use (or excessive use) of nonfat and low fat products e.g. cheese, margarine, yogurt, cream cheese, salad dressings and mayonnaise.

: As toddlers begin to experiment with food, they may express strong likes and dislikes. Offer small bites of new foods and let your child decide if he wants more. Expose him to new foods as you both explore what he likes to eat. You may not like the idea of eating cold oatmeal "lumps", but many toddlers thoroughly enjoy eating their cereal if they can feed it to themselves with their fingers. Try such toddler favorites as firm tofu, pasta noodles, bits of soft, boiled chicken, parboiled vegetables, bananas, American cheese. Offer foods again that have been previously refused; toddlers often change their minds about food likes and dislikes with surprising rapidity.

: Young toddlers need to practice the eye-hand coordination skills involved in bringing slippery bits of food to their mouths with their fingers or a spoon. Be prepared for the mess by covering the floor under the highchair with a sheet or newspaper.

: Try not to make food a battle ground. Children will not starve themselves and will eat when they are hungry. Many toddlers need frequent, small meals spaced throughout the day rather than three large meals a day.

: Involve your toddler in food preparation. Make food servings bite sized so they can be approached as finger food. Toddlers work very hard to master their environment; help your child achieve success in self-feeding by providing foods that she can easily eat.
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: Repetition of complex actions

: Toddlers like to repeat complex actions over and over again. They never tire of hearing a good story or throwing a ball. These repetitive experiences likely serve to cement the synaptic connections between involved neurons and action patterns. Repetition allows children to pay attention to what is new, perhaps increasing the complexity level of the information they can process. As the neuronal patterns become more connected, they probably become easier to access.

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: Ever Wonder...
: Why does a young toddler insist on having the same book read over and over again?

: Repetition helps build the connections in children's brains. Their natural inclination is to try something over and over--and books are no exception. They may want to explore a book in many different ways, and having the same story over and over allows them to do this.
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: The seriousness with which toddlers approach such complex motor tasks as running, climbing stairs, and getting in and out/off of furniture demonstrates their push to master these new, more complex action patterns. They also need to test out these skills in new situations; although the toddler may have mastered climbing onto the chair at home, he will still have to practice the skill at grandma's house or in the pediatric waiting room. Running on grass is different from running on carpet and the action will be repeated in many different settings, even those that are not appropriate for running such as a parking lot or in the mall.

: Each repetition is never exactly the same as the last. This imparts a bit of flexibility to the system and its connections. Mild variations can be incorporated into the pattern, allowing the child to exert a measure of flexibility and creativity to the action or thought. As these connections are strengthened, this flexibility allows the "little scientist" to experiment: "What will happen if I do things just a little differently? How does the ball bounce when I drop it out of the crib and when I throw it out of the crib?"

: Thus, the strengthened synaptic connections allow for relationships to be created between patterns of thought and behavior. This frees up the child to explore the action in a more complex and flexible way - the paradigm of the learning process at this age.

: Similarly, language learning at this age is based on the repetition of sounds and words. Toddlers at this age often point to objects and/or ask some variation of "wha dat?" in their desire to learn the names of objects. They delight in simple songs, finger plays and games involving sounds and words. Learning to name an object gives the toddler enormous power to get what she wants. Toddlers often practice new words or phrases before falling off to sleep or while riding in the car, repeating words over and over again.

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: Ever Wonder...
: Why do toddlers babble when looking at a book pretending to read?

: Children learn by imitation and practice, and some of the things they imitate are the sounds that they hear. When they hear you reading stories or singing songs to them, they will want to try, too. You can encourage a toddler to keep "talking," by listening to her and responding to her vocalizations.
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: Caregiving Implications:

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: Toddlers like to practice their new skills in a variety of settings - in the yard, on the playground, on the stairs to the child care center, at Grandpa's house. They have an enormous tolerance for repetition, even when adults have long tired of the activity.

: Use every opportunity to label objects and events for your child - in the grocery store, as you drive or ride on the bus, while you look at picture books - name the things he is seeing. Point out trucks of different colors or sizes, label those foods which the child is familiar with as you put them in the shopping cart. Narrate daily events such as the steps in changing a diaper or taking a bath. Your child will repeat these words, each time becoming more proficient at using and pronouncing the correct word.

: Acknowledge how hard your child is working to master new tasks and how proud you are of her efforts. Young children develop a positive self-image through their interactions with the environment and through relationships with the adults who care for them. Recognizing how hard a child is striving to learn adds to her sense of who she is - a learner who can succeed with practice and hard work.
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: BrainWonders: Developed 1998-2001

Thank you for the article but if my doctor is concerned and then wic I will switch but until then i will not as my child gets enough from other sources.


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