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12 mo to adult

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6 months+


Ahimsa – a perfect mix of Dr. Mantravadi's love for children, background in medicine and Indian heritage.

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Mealtime Guide - Grade School

Grade School Mealtime Guide

The servings below show an overall average, but can vary based on your child's specific age, gender and activity level. Be sure to adjust based on your child's hunger cues.

Serve a variety of color and texture. While most of a child's daily nutritional intake, snacks can support and enhance your child's healthy eating plan.

Snacking smarter

Children can get ¼ of their calories from snack foods. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to and plan the types of snacks your child eats. While packaged foods offer convenience, a little bit of planning goes a long way in offering your child nutritious and healthy options for snack time.

How can I encourage healthy snacks?

Place emphasis on enjoying the tastes of fruits and vegetables rather than just focusing on their healthfulness. While they may not reach for fruit or vegetables as a first choice, you’d be surprised how fast a plate or bowl of fruits and vegetables can disappear when offered!

*Make healthy snack options available. Items like pre-cut fruit and vegetables with dips, yogurt, whole grain crackers or pita, hummus and unsalted nuts or butters can be snack staples that are delicious and nutritious.

Rainbow stainless steel Ahimsa 8 oz cup and compartment plate perfect for ages 1 and up

Media Influencing Eating Habits

Studies show that TV viewing was associated with eating less fruits and vegetables and more sweets, soft drinks and fast food. Excessive TV watching is associated with obesity in children.

When children eat in front of a TV or other device, it is easy to be distracted and eat past when they are full. Advertising also features many unhealthy foods such as sugary cereals, fast foods, and sweets. In fact, young children prefer and choose food that have been associated with popular food brands or characters seen on advertisements.

What you can do:

Make your meals media-free. Putting aside devices, in a different room if possible, and serving meals at a table can help your child focus on the food and on interactions with other people at the table.

Mealtimes are an opportunity for family members to talk about their days and connect. It is also a great opportunity to model healthy eating and teaching your child about healthy, balanced meals. Eating three meals together as a family is associated with positive health outcomes in children!

Balanced bits and meals with fruits with mango watermelon blackberry sushi snap peas chickpeas and cucumbers

Vitamin Supplements

Routine supplementation is not necessary for healthy growing children who consume a varied diet. Talk to your pediatrician about your child's dietary intake. Some specific diets like a vegetarian one may require additional supplementation if nutritional deficiencies are identified by your doctor.

What if I just want to give a daily multivitamin?

A standard pediatric vitamin-mineral product containing nutrients in amounts no larger than the DRI (daily recommended intake) poses little risk. Remember that most vitamins for kids are attractive in taste, shape and color so please ensure you keep them out of reach to avoid accidental ingestion and vitamin toxicity.

Portion Distortion

Over the past 20 years, portion sizes have increased dramatically. The National Institute of Health calls it portion distortion. Try using smaller bowls (like our 8 oz / 1 cup) bowl to help create appropriate age-based serving sizes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 9 million to 45 million cases of the flu each year. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to do what we can to stay healthy. To fight the flu, healthcare experts suggest that everyone get an annual flu shot. In addition to following medical guidance, you can also stay healthy by eating certain immune-boosting, antioxidant-rich foods.

  • 3 min read
The American Academy of Pediatrics, The World Health Organization and The Endocrine Society are among the many medical communities that are sounding the alarm. Synthetic (made by humans) endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in everyday products - particularly in our food system. These chemicals look like our everyday hormones that allow us to grow, develop, reproduce, balance our body’s salt and water level and many more significant functions that keep us healthy. The chemicals in products look like our natural hormones and interrupt these normal signaling pathways. This is particularly important in children as they are still growing and developing rapidly - many organ systems are not even fully developed in that first decade of life.
  • 5 min read
Last month, a fantastic NPR podcast highlighted the problem with plastic which I will summarize here: “According to a 2017 research article, more than 40% of all plastic made is packaging, which is used only once or twice before being thrown away. According to a recent analysis examining global plastic waste generation between 2010 and 2016, the United States was responsible for more plastic trash than any country in the world. That’s millions and millions of tons of plastic waste. Per capita, that boils down to nearly 300 pounds of plastic trash per person(!) per year. It’s estimated that only about 9% of plastic waste generated in the U.S. is recycled. The rest ends up in landfills, incinerators, and, unfortunately, marine environments such as rivers and oceans. And there, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it will remain for hundreds of years.”
  • 4 min read
Getting back to school is all about learning new routines, so now is a great time to develop healthier snacking habits. Packaged snack foods can be an easy, convenient choice for after school but often provide too many added calories and not enough nutrition. Snacks don't have to be complicated!
  • 2 min read

Sources: Pediatric Nutrition. 8th Ed. 2019. American Academy of Pediatrics. Frank R. Greer, MD, FAAP; Ronald E. Kleinman, MD, FAAP. *This website has been developed by Ahimsa LLC. This site offers health and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. While many of our experts are practicing clinicians, viewing this site, receipt of information contained on this site or the transmission of information from or to this site does not constitute a physician-patient relationship. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Any information provided is not meant to address a specific situation, person or event, even if you provide information about a specific person or situation to Ahimsa. Always seek the advice of your child’s own physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Please click here for more information on our disclaimer. Effective Date: October 7, 2019, Updated 6/17/2021. © 2021 Ahimsa LLC, All Rights Reserved