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FAQs:

Here you'll find answers to the most frequently asked questions. In case your query isn’t answered here, feel free to ask!


How can I apply for a job at Nestlé?

To apply for a position with Nestlé, please visit the Careers section.

I found a problem with the website, how can I report it?

To report any problem with the Nestlé family website, please click on the 'Email Us' section of the Contact Us page of this website.

While I was on vacation abroad I saw some Nestlé products that are not found in the Middle East. Why is that?

Nestlé offers hundreds of brands globally, but unfortunately we can’t bring all products to all regions. We do our best to select the products that are most relevant to each region. If there’s a product you would like to see offered in the Middle East, please feel free to tell us by visiting the 'Email Us”' page on this website.

What content can I find on the Nestlé Family website?

We offer you a wide variety of exciting and interesting content. For instance, you will find a constantly updated selection of recipes, for savory dishes and sweet delicacies alike. There’s also a growing library of articles on nutrition, health and wellness, and much more.

I’ve contacted Nestlé but still haven’t received a reply. Why hasn’t Nestlé replied yet?

Your comments are very important to us. We do our very best to respond to your queries within a few working days, but depending on how many people contact us during a particular time period, we may take longer to reply to you.

I don’t understand how to use the new Nestlé Family website – how can I get help?

We are working on providing detailed instructions on every aspect of the website. Until then, please click on the 'Email Us' section of the Contact us page of this website to get in touch with us.

If I have a complaint or comment, how can I contact Nestlé?

You can contact Nestlé by clicking on the 'Email Us' section of the Contact Us page of this website.

Where can I buy Nestlé products?

Nestlé products are available in most supermarkets, hypermarkets and grocery stores. Some products can also be found in pharmacies.

In which countries in the Middle East does Nestlé operate?

Nestlé operates in the following countries (in alphabetical order): Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

What products does Nestlé offer in the Middle East?

For the products available in the region, please visit Our Brands

How can I make sure my toddler has a balanced and varied diet?

Children get their needs of carbohydrates, proteins, essential fats, in addition to vitamins and minerals, through a healthy, varied and balanced diet from the 5 food groups distributed over 5 meals a day. 

Here’s a meal plan you can follow: 

  • Grains and cereals: 3 servings (1 serving = 1 slice of bread or ½ cup cooked rice or potato or pasta)
  • Vegetables: 2 servings (1 serving = 1 cup raw vegetables or ½ cup cooked vegetables)
  • Fruits: 2 servings (1 serving = 1 medium fruit or ½ cup fresh fruit juice)
  • Milk and dairy: 2 servings (offer your child 2 cups of growing-up milk everyday)
  • Proteins: 2 servings (examples of a serving = 30 gm of lean meat or 1 egg or ½ cup of cooked beans)

In addition to selections from each of the food groups, young children need to have the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of healthy oils daily.

How can I get my picky eater to enjoy food more?

At a younger age, your child begins to express his independence by refusing certain foods and eating only what he wants.

Here are some tips on how to deal with your picky eater and help him try new foods:

  • Offer new foods many times. It may take up to a dozen tries for a child to accept a new food.
  • Give him a small taste at first and be patient with him. Eventually his taste buds will get used to the new flavor and he will learn to enjoy it.
  • Be a good role model by trying new foods yourself. Show your child that you are eating the same and soon he will want to try it for himself.
  • Offer only one new food at a time. Serve something that you know your child likes along with the new food.
  • Offer new foods first, at the beginning of a meal, when your child is still hungry.
  • Involve your child in doing the groceries. Children enjoy helping to pick out groceries. This way he can choose foods such as fruits and vegetables that look appealing.
  • Involve your child in the preparation of the food; they are more likely to eat something they helped prepare.
  • Offer a variety of foods for your child to choose from. Usually children go for the second one, so offer the one you want to give second. Example: "do you want yogurt or strawberries?"
  • Cool down. Do not get angry if your child refuses to eat a certain food or if he is restless at the table. Tell him to go to his room and do not offer food till the next meal.
  • Buy plates, bowls and cups with your child’s favorite heroes or characters pictured on them. This is one way to encourage him to eat new foods.
  • Many children eat better in a group of kids, so try to regularly invite your child’s friends, relatives or neighbours over and introduce new foods.
  • Don’t force him to eat. Healthy children, when given the right selection of healthy foods, will tend to eat just the right amount. Our role as parents is to learn to recognize their signals. When we attempt to force a child to keep eating, or even to coax them to eat more, they lose trust in their bodies’ own signals.

What nutrients are important for my child’s immunity?

The most important nutrients for building your child’s natural immunity are: 

  • Proteins: Proteins are essential for growth, tissue repair and enzyme activity. Animal products (e.g., meat, dairy and eggs) constitute the main source of high-quality protein.
  • Vitamins A, C and E, Zinc and Selenium: They protect cells in your child’s body from oxidation and defend him against germs and infection. Coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamins A and C; vegetable oil and avocados are rich in Vitamin E; meat and seafood are rich in zinc and selenium.
  • Iron: A very important component of red blood cells. It prevents iron deficiency, also known as anaemia, and protects your child from infections. Foods that contain high amounts of iron include liver, meat, beans, green vegetables, and fortified cereals and growing-up milks.
  • Fat: A source of concentrated energy, fat also serves as a vehicle for certain vitamins like A, D, E and K. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as omega 3 and omega 6 play an important role in building cells and enhancing your child’s immunity.
  • Probiotics and Prebiotics: These are ingredients found in fortified foods, such as some growing-up milks for children.

What role do prebiotics play in protecting my child’s digestive system?

Prebiotics are carbohydrates that play an important role in maintaining your child’s healthy digestive system.

Where can you find prebiotics?

Prebiotics are found in:

  • Fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, bananas, berries, onions, garlic, artichoke, asparagus, chicory and spinach
  • Grains such as wheat and barley; legumes, including lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, navy beans and soy beans
  • Growing-up milk fortified with prebiotics.  

So try to include these foods in his diet, and offer your child 2 cups of growing-up milk that is fortified with prebiotics.

What kinds of physical exercises can my toddler do?

Toddlers develop physically when exposed to different physical activities. Here are some ideas of activities for toddlers between 1-3 years old depending on their development. Note: make sure to create a safe environment for your child to play!

  •  From 12-18 months: Toddlers are generally beginning to walk, so playing with push toys may help to develop walking skills. They also should be allowed to roll, catch and throw balls, carry items, build with blocks, and play hide & seek.
  • From 18-24 months: Toddlers should be encouraged to kick a ball, walk up and down stairs and also dance to music, which is also a great activity for physical development.
  • From 2-2.5 years: Toddlers can sit on a small tricycle but cannot use pedals to propel vehicle forward with their feet on the floor. They can also run, climb, and jump with 2 feet together from a low step.
  • From 2.5-3 years: Toddlers can turn around obstacles and corners while running, so now they can play hide and seek, ride tricycles using the pedals and steer round wide corners, stand and walk on their tippy toes, and stand on one foot. 

Additionally, they can sit with feet crossed at the ankles, so they can be encouraged to participate in gymnastics, ballet, swim or play with scooters. 

My toddler is exerting her independence. Is it wrong to discipline her already?

Your child wants and needs to explore the world, and she needs you there to help her. Her new-found independence is exciting, but can also lead to potential problems. When you correct her, as you sometimes must, she may dissolve into tears or even throw a toddler tantrum. Respond lovingly, but firmly with a simple "No", but avoid getting harsh or using too many words to explain yourself. Find ways to distract your child from most misbehaviors.

I'm worried about dangers in the kitchen and bathroom.

Each room in your house has its own unique hazards, but with careful attention to safety, these hazards can be minimized. 

  • In the kitchen, cover oven knobs.
  • Keep knives and pan handles away from the worktop edges so they don’t tumble into baby’s path. Plastic shopping bags should be out of reach too.
  • In the bathroom, place all medications in a locked or inaccessible cabinet. Keep the toilet lid down by installing a lid latch. Add spout guards on bath taps to protect baby’s head at bath time, and adjust the temperature of your water heater to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 48 degrees Celsius so she can’t be scalded.
  • Remember: electricity and water don’t mix. Keep hair dryers, radios, and other small electric items out of reach or out of the bathroom.

Any tips on how to make eating out with my toddler less stressful?

Dining out with your little one can be a challenge, but planning in advance will make your mealtime more pleasant. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Make a list of family-friendly restaurants and talk with other new mums to find out their experiences with these places.
  • Before leaving the house, pack your child’s bag with his milk (if not breastfeeding), bibs, cups, spoons, baby wipes, and nappies.
  • Include his favorite toys and snacks for diversion.
  • Avoid dining during the busy hours. Crowds and excessive noise can upset your toddler. 

My toddler keeps throwing his food on the floor. What can I do?

Mealtime is as much a time for nutrition as a time to learn social skills. Throwing food across the room makes for cute scenes and it can be funny, but beware, your laughter may encourage unwanted behavior. Without dampening your child’s enthusiasm for food and the spirit of the family gathering, start letting your baby know what you think is or is not appropriate. Pleasant chat and laughter make meals enjoyable for baby and the whole family.

I hear that toddlers are at risk of having iron deficiency (anaemia). How do I prevent it in my child?

Iron plays a major role in your child’s physical and mental development, as well as strengthening his immune system. Anaemia caused by iron deficiency is common among little children. To prevent your child from having it, offer your child foods rich in iron.

These include:

  • Meat, poultry & fish: The most important source of iron and one that is easily absorbed by the body.
  • Legumes (e.g., lentils and beans) and green leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach). Always add a source of Vitamin C to vegetarian iron-rich sources (orange, lemon juice) to maximize the absorption of iron in your child’s body.
  • Fortified foods: Some foods, such as growing-up milk and breakfast cereals, often are enriched with iron. As milk plays a vital role in your child’s daily diet, offer 2 cups of growing-up milk fortified with iron every day.

My child doesn’t like the taste of meat. How can I give him the iron he needs?

It is right that your child might not be getting enough iron from a meat-free diet and can therefore be at a higher risk of developing iron deficiency (anaemia).

Here are some tips to make him eat meat:

  • Hide minced meat in his meal. Boil it or steam it, put it in a blender until very thin and add it to his favorite foods. Mix it with mashed potatoes, pasta sauce, vegetables, or rice and yogurt dishes.
  • Keep reintroducing meat from time to time, preferably along with other foods he already knows and likes, as your child’s tastes change and he might accept meat later.
  • Try to substitute red meat with poultry or fish. If he rejects all types of meats, try eggs or pulses such as lentils and beans, chickpeas, fava beans. Or, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, dark molasses, whole grain and enriched bread and cereals. Always add a source of Vitamin C to vegetarian iron-rich sources (orange, lemon juice) to maximize the absorption of iron in your child’s body.

Foods, such as milk and breakfast cereals, often are enriched with iron. As milk plays a vital role in your child’s daily diet, offer your child 2 cups of growing-up milk fortified with iron every day. 

My child won’t eat his vegetables. What important nutrients is he missing out on?

Not only are vegetables the healthiest of all foods, they are also packed with vitamins and minerals that the children need for normal metabolism, growth and development. 

Here are some tips to encourage your child to eat his veggies:

  • Allow your child to interact with food such as vegetables by making different shapes and sizes, and then eating his work of art.
  • Buy plates, bowls and cups with your child’s favorite heroes or characters pictured on them. This is one way to encourage him to eat new foods or tricky foods.
  • Involve your child in food shopping to introduce him to a variety of vegetables and fruits, and let him help you pick out what he likes to eat.
  • Many children eat better in a group of kids, so try to regularly invite your child’s friends, relatives or neighbours over and offer new veggies or reintroduce the veggies he rejected before.
  • If your child is attending daycare, include fresh fruits and vegetables in his lunch box as kids tend to eat them when they are hungry.
  • As snacks for your child, always have fresh fruits and vegetables washed, cut and ready to serve in the refrigerator.
  • Set a good example by saying “I love salad” or “I love broccoli.” Who knows, your child may be tempted to try it?
  • When all else fails, sneak it in. Make carrot muffins; add shaved carrots to the pasta sauce. Just add grated vegetables or pieces of fruit to virtually any meal!

My toddler is constipated. How can I help him?

A healthy digestive system is a sign of good health, good immunity and good nutrition rich in fiber. If your child is passing hard stools, having less than three movements of hard stools a week, and having difficulty and pain in this process, it means he’s constipated.  Here are some tips to help your child: 

  • Encourage your child to drink enough water; water helps pass the stools.
  • To help your child be regular, enhance his diet with fiber:
    • Offer vegetables with every meal, like a vegetable soup for lunch, or cut small pieces of his favorite vegetables as a salad for dinner.
    • Offer him a fruit salad or dried fruits as snacks (raisins, prunes, apricots).
    • Include pulses in his menu 2-3 times a week, including beans, lentils and chickpeas.
    • Healthy snacks that are full of fiber include a whole wheat bread sandwich, porridge, or oats and milk. Try whole-wheat pancakes or whole grain breakfast cereals with milk and bran muffins 
  • To enhance a healthy regular bowel movement and build good bacterial balance in your child’s digestive system, offer foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics.
    • Probiotics are healthy bacteria that aid digestion and prevent an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. They are found in yogurt and cheese as well as in foods fortified with probiotics, like fortified growing-up milk.
    • Prebiotics, on the other hand, are indigestible fibers that nurture the growth of good bacteria in your child’s digestive system. These are found in artichokes, bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, whole grains, legumes and in fortified growing-up milk. 
  • Encourage daily movement and involve your child in some physical activity every day, which helps keep bowels working well. 
  • Teach your child not to hold a bowel movement or ignore the urge to go, else he may be stuck in a vicious cycle of hard stools. Explain that regular bowel movements are normal and important for good health.

How can I keep my child healthy at daycare?

Maintaining a healthy immune system is your child’s best natural defense. To help keep baby healthy, try these tips: 

  • Keep your child’s immunizations up to date. Take her for regular checkups and make sure her immunizations stay on schedule.
  • Allow for plenty of rest. Ask your daycare provider about when and where baby will nap. Young children generally get their sleep from a combination of night-time sleep and day-time naps.
  • Keep your child’s environment clean. Many daycare providers successfully limit the spread of cold and flu by frequently washing their hands, as well as the children’s hands, faces, toys, and changing surfaces. Ask about your provider’s policies and adopt their routines.

When can I start to potty train my toddler?

The right age to start potty training is around 2 years as the muscles around the sphincter are strong enough to control the bladder, and also because the child is able at this age to express his needs.

The best way to prepare your child to be potty trained is to tell him at least 2 weeks in advance how important it is to be without diapers. When you start potty training, you should remove his diaper and ask him to pee every half hour on a potty or in the toilet. This practice should be cultivated even outside the house, until you notice that your child is able to ask to go to the toilet. You will notice in some time that your child will be able to control himself for a longer time. 

My child keeps on waking up at night. Is it normal?

Toddlers sleep an average of about 12-14 hours a day and take one nap. It is recommended that you put your toddlers on a sleep schedule and have them stick to it every day, even during weekends and holidays, to ensure a continuation of this pattern.

The following table gives you an example of a sleep schedule for toddlers:

Morning wake-up time Nap time Nap wake-up time Bed time
7 am 11 am 1 pm 7 pm

Even with the above sleep schedule and a good routine you might still face problems in your child’s sleep, like waking up in the middle of the night crying, asking for milk or visiting your bed if he is old enough to climb out of his. 

Here are some tips to help your child fall back asleep:

  • Make sure that your toddler is not waking up because of a dirty diaper, tight pajamas, feeling hot or cold, or hunger, and check if he is ill.
  • If he is attached to a sleep aid, like a dummy, a blanket or a doll, make sure that he can find it in his crib when he first wakes up. This way he is able to soothe himself back to sleep alone.
  • Avoid including music or lighting in the sleep routine, unless he finds the same conditions when he wakes up as when he fell asleep. If the music was on, the music needs to be playing when he wakes up!
  • Avoid giving him milk if he wakes up; break the rule once and he is already asking for it every time in the middle of the night.
  • Avoid taking him out of his bed, and instead cuddle him or tap his back. When he first cries, wait for a while just in case he falls back to sleep alone. If he fails to do so, comfort him for a short time, and then get out. Return every 5 minutes at first, and then make the gaps bigger until he falls asleep; even if he cries a bit at first. This way, he knows that you are there for him, but that he needs to sleep. After a few nights, he will learn to sleep faster. 

From what age can a child drink cow's milk?

If you are still breastfeeding your child, then it is advised to do so as long as possible, but do not introduce cow’s milk before he is one year old. If your child is one and you are not breastfeeding, it is recommended to give him at least 500 ml of specialised growing-up milk until the age of at least 3, simply because cow's milk does not provide all of the child's nutritional requirements. For example, it is too rich in proteins, it doesn't provide the essential fatty acids that the child needs for their brain to develop, nor does it provide the vitamins and trace elements such as iron and copper that growing-up milk contains.

What should I give my child who refuses milk in the morning?

Growing-up milk plays a major role in your child’s growth and development especially between 1-3 years. Children who continuously avoid milk are exposed to loss in bone density, which can cause osteoporosis later in life. 

Try making milk a little more fun! Here are some delicious ways to serve it:

  • Prepare a milkshake by adding his favorite fruits such as strawberries.
  • Beat the milk with a teaspoon of vanilla flavor.
  • Try offering growing-up milk that is already flavored with honey that babies usually like.
  • Add unsweetened cocoa powder (serve with cold or hot milk) or add strawberry flavor.
  • Prepare milk in an attractive cup (with his favorite cartoon picture).
  • Serve him milk with cereals suitable for his age.

Remember to offer your child 2 cups of his growing-up milk that contains all the essential nutrients for healthy growth, brain development and good immunity. Include foods that are naturally rich in calcium in his diet such as spinach and broccoli, knowing that the absorption of calcium is higher from milk.

Can I use frozen vegetables to feed my one-year-old child?

The answer is a clear YES! It's important that children eat vegetables. Depending on the time of year, some vegetables can be difficult to get and frozen vegetables really are just as safe and reliable as fresh vegetables. Freezing vegetables does not make them lose their vitamins and minerals nor their fiber content, all of which are essential for your child’s health.

Is it all right to add salt and fat to my toddler’s food?

You can add salt in moderation. Just as with sugar, you shouldn't use excessive quantities of salt. It's preferable not to add any at all if possible, simply to get the child used to not eating things with too much salt. However, it is important to add some fat. Children need 3-4 teaspoons of healthy fats (oils preferably) in their diet daily. As part of every balanced meal you serve for lunch and dinner, include a knob of butter or a drizzle of vegetable oil such as corn, canola, sunflower or olive oil.

How do I make sure my 3-year-old gains weight and height?

Young children do not grow as fast as babies and toddlers. Don’t worry if your previously chubby two-year-old is growing into a slimmer and taller five-year old. Strong and healthy muscles will replace the plumpness of the baby fat as he starts to engage in regular sports activities, but remember that every child is unique in his development and growth. Your child’s pediatrician will surely monitor his growth during the routine check-ups, but don’t think twice before checking with the doctor if you have concerns regarding your child’s growth.

How do I make snacks a healthy part of my child’s diet?

A light snack will not only satisfy your child’s hunger, but also provide him with the energy and nutrients that he needs for physical activity, learning aptitude, and concentration skills. Here are some tips:

  • Planning his daily menus ahead of time allows you to prepare the snacks based on whatever your child is having as main meals. Make sure to offer his 5-a-day fruits and veggies as snacks.
  • Offer light snacks that come in small portions, 2 hours before the main meals, so that your child is still hungry come lunch or dinner time.
  • Offer homemade snacks instead of readymade snacks such as chips and candy that may be too high in sugar, salt and/or unhealthy fats. Homemade low-fat fruitcake, fruit custard or mini oat biscuits are a good alternative.
  • Always have some fruits and vegetables chopped up and ready in the fridge for a snack your child can grab if he feels hungry between meals.
  • Avoid sweetened juices and carbonated beverages as these drinks can replace milk, which is still at the core of preschoolers’ diets. 

 

How do I combat bad influences on my child’s diet, especially since he spends a lot of time outside home?

Trying to keep children as healthy as possible is a challenge as 4 to 5-year-olds are extremely influenced by what their friends are eating. Here are a few tips that can help you: 

  • Limit the time your child spends watching TV.
  • Encourage your child to be physically active everyday.
  • Become familiar with what your child is eating at home, at preschool, in playgroups and birthdays. Encourage healthy eating habits by talking about what he will be eating wherever he is going.
  • Keep your own fridge as healthy as possible.
  • Stock up on healthier choices that are lower in fats, salt and sugar, and always have washed fruits and veggies ready and within reach.

How do I help my child eat well and mind his manners at school?

  • Ask ahead of time about what time are morning snacks and lunch offered. Try to put your child on the new schedule at home 2 weeks before starting preschool.
  • Start by filling his lunchbox with the foods that your young one generally likes and does not make a fuss to eat at home.
  • Prepare a small and light morning snack so that he will be hungry enough at lunch-time.
  • Make the snack something easy to eat such as a mini bagel, sandwich, vegetables sticks or a fruit.
  • Never miss the opportunity to gather the entire family for meals, where you can be a role model by respecting table manners and of course enjoying new foods together.
  • Allow him the chance to eat alone using utensils just like you.

Imitation of peers is a very powerful tool, so raise your expectations when it comes to your young one minding his manners like an adult.

How can I encourage my child to lead a healthy lifestyle?

As a child, your little one gets easily influenced by what he sees. So be a positive role model and follow good nutrition habits by:

  • Introducing a diversity of foods and choosing wisely from each food group
  • Eating appropriate amounts at each meal and savoring it slowly
  • Never skipping meals and particularly breakfast
  • Bringing the family together for meals as much as possible
  • Never eating in front of the TV
  • Drinking enough water
  • Indulging in sweets sensibly
  • Leading an active lifestyle and exercising regularly, as well as encouraging your child to join a sport of his choice and commit to the practice

 

My child refuses to eat anything in the morning. Is it all right if he misses breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it offers the brain the energy it needs after a long night of fasting. It plays a vital role in enhancing your child’s physical and mental performance, as well as their ability to learn at school. It is also important for overall nutrition, as it is difficult to catch up on those essential nutrients during the rest of the day.

  • As a role model be careful never to skip breakfast. Gather the family together and make it fun and yummy! A smoothie, a muffin, pancakes or fruit-filled crepes maybe?
  • Talk to your child about the benefits of breakfast, especially how it makes him stronger and smarter!
  • If “I’m not hungry” is the excuse for skipping breakfast, offer a milkshake or smoothie. Just blend your child’s favorite flavor or fruit with a cup of specialized growing-up milk. This is one way to start his day with vitamins, minerals and fiber!
  • Allow him to eat on his way to school. Try a banana or some whole-grain cereals.
  • Wake your child up 10 minutes earlier to allow some time for breakfast.
  • While grocery shopping, allow your child to choose his own healthy breakfast options.

 

Should I worry that ever since my child joined school he has stopped drinking milk?

After a certain age, some kids start to reduce their milk intake or stop drinking it altogether. By doing this, it will expose them to bone density loss which can cause osteoporosis later on in life. 25% of children who avoid milk are prone to bone fractures before the age of 8, with most of them caused by small trips or falls. So milk is still very important for your child as it will continue to build his bones all throughout his childhood and maintain strong bones in the future.

Therefore, encourage your young one to drink 2 glasses of specialized growing-up milk per day, and stop him from drinking carbonated beverages or other sugary drinks that are poor in nutrients and could replace milk in his diet.  

Do I need to give my child vitamin and mineral supplements?

Picky eating is common among preschoolers.

However, if your child is having 500 ml of specialized growing-up milk daily, he is more likely to meet his requirements for many of the vitamins and minerals. That’s because these are added to the milk and in quantities needed by children aged 3 to 5 years.

To help you decide whether your child needs vitamin supplementation, talk to your pediatrician about his eating habits, weight and growth pattern.  

What steps should I take to help my child from being overweight?

Follow these tips to help your child: 

  1. Get moving: Incorporate physical activity into your child’s everyday life, like walking, playing outdoors with peers and encouraging him to commit to a sport routine that he enjoys.
  2. Encourage your child to eat right: Cut down on unhealthy snacks high in calories, fat and sugar, such as chips, ice cream, cakes and biscuits. Avoid fast food. A healthy and balanced diet incorporating all the food groups – milk and dairy, breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, and meats and legumes – will provide your child with all the calories he needs for healthy growth.
  3. Serve your child small meals and if he is still hungry you can add a little more, rather than getting him used to a large portion.
  4. Limit the time watching TV or sitting in front of the computer to no more than two hours a day; spend more family time doing physical activities such as swimming and playing fun games.
  5. Consult an expert: Consult a dietician to learn more about healthy eating.

Is it a good idea to offer my child juice because he keeps rejecting all kinds of fruit?

Children just love juices! Offering natural unsweetened fruit juice, especially if it’s freshly squeezed, is rich in vitamins and minerals, and particularly beneficial for children who don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits.  However, juices should only be offered in moderation:

  • Juices, even when fresh or 100% natural, lose the fiber that is essential for a healthy digestive system
  • Juices tend to be high in sugar, adding unnecessary calories to your child’s diet, and frequent consumption can increase the risk of dental cavities
  • Too much juice can replace milk, an essential part of your preschooler’s diet. Don’t let it be a replacement for water too!

I tried to keep my child away from sweets. But lately all he’s been asking for are chocolates and candies. What should I do?

Sweets are rich in calories, fats and sugar. Overconsumption of such foods may lead to weight problems, as well as malnutrition, because your child will be eating much less of the healthier foods and will be short on essential nutrients for healthy growth. 

Here are some steps to encourage your child to eat healthy:

  • Start by explaining to your child how eating healthy can help him grow tall, strong and smart
  • Offer your child 3 main meals and 2 snacks in between, and explain that the yummy snack will be offered in the afternoon.
  • Instead of offering sweets, prepare home-made snacks such as fruit salad, milk and fruit smoothie or milkshake, vegetable sticks with labneh dip, yogurt and fruit with a drizzle of honey, peanut butter sandwiches, fruit-filled crepes, carrot muffins, mouhallabieh, custard and fruits.
  • Always encourage your child to have a healthy breakfast. It provides the body with enough energy to start the day and prevents munching on any junk food that is easy and quick to grab.
  • Be a role model in your eating habits; never miss an opportunity to gather the family around your balanced and delicious meals.

What foods do I give my child to help him stay alert and support his cognitive thinking?

  • Iron-rich foods: Meat is one of the richest sources of iron, which is essential to the composition of human blood. This is why you should include red meat, chicken, green leafy vegetables and legumes (lentils and beans) and iron-fortified milk, such as specialized growing up milk, on your little one’s menu. Squeezing a dash of lemon over green leafy vegetables will help the body absorb the iron that is found in the leaves. This is due to the presence of vitamin C in the citrus fruit, which is also present in strawberries, oranges and kiwis.
  • Zinc: Make sure your child is getting enough zinc in his diet for proper memory and brain function by offering meats, pulses, whole grains as well as zinc-fortified growing-up milk.
  • B-vitamins: This group of vitamins can enhance your child’s liveliness by playing an important role in metabolism. Quite simply, it helps release energy from food into the body and brain. Foods rich in B-vitamins are whole grains, breakfast cereals, seafood, leafy green vegetables, eggs, milk, chicken and meat. So again variety is key!
  • Essential fatty acids: Found in specialized growing-up milk, fish and some nuts. These play a key role in the development of the brain. They are called “essential” fatty acids because the body doesn’t manufacture them. They need to be taken from food, and their presence is therefore essential in the diet.

How can I give my 5-year-old healthy fats that help in brain development?

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), commonly known as Omega 3 and Omega 6, are a type of healthy fats and are named essential nutrients because our body and our children’s bodies cannot synthesize them and thus must be supplied by the diet, and on a daily basis.

Essential Fatty Acids are mainly found in specialized growing-up milk, vegetable oils such as corn, olive, soy bean, sunflower and canola oil, fatty fish such as tuna, sardines, and salmon and some types of nuts such as walnuts. So making EFA sources a part of a healthy varied diet will help your child grow healthy and be full of life.

How can I keep my child’s teeth healthy?

Good nutritional habits play an important role in strengthening teeth and reducing the risk of developing dental cavities. Here are tips for taking care of your child’s teeth:

  • Offer him a diet rich in calcium and phosphorus: Make sure that your child gets enough calcium and phosphorus by serving him 3 servings of milk and dairy everyday.
  • Control the quantity and quality of meals: Serve your child three balanced meals full of healthy foods, and one or two healthy snacks. Don’t allow him to skip breakfast, and for snacks limit foods that are harmful to the teeth, like sweets and sticky foods such as caramel which encourage the growth of bacteria and tooth decay. Choose fruits and vegetables instead. Prefer water over sweetened juices and carbonated beverages.
  • Brush teeth regularly: Encourage your child to brush his teeth twice daily – after breakfast and before going to sleep. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Visit the pediatric dentist regularly: The doctor will check his teeth and show you how you should clean and care for them. 

Now that he’s starting school, how do I help my child become a good learner?

A healthy nutrition and a good daily and nightly routine will affect the way your child learns. Here are some tips to help your child become a good learner in school:

1 Begin with a healthy breakfast, for a healthy start to every day!

Breakfast makes for a successful day as it refuels the brain and body after a night of sleep, and it enhances your child’s physical and mental performance, as well as his ability to learn.  Start his day with a glass of specialized growing-up milk along with whole-grain cereals or a cheese sandwich and a fruit.

2 Pack in healthy snacks for more energy, mental activity and concentration!

Here are a few ideas for healthy and delicious snacks:

  • A glass of specialized growing up milk blended with unsweetened cocoa and a banana
  • A bowl of yoghurt (plain or fruit-flavored) with 2 pieces of kaak
  • Fresh and colorful fruit salad or fruit skewers
  • Fresh cut vegetables served with hummus or labneh dip
  • Whole-wheat toast topped with cheese or labneh or peanut butter

3 Sweet dreams mean a better ability to learn tomorrow!

A good amount of sleep at night has a positive effect on your young learner. It is associated with a better attention span and more alertness at school and thus a better ability to learn. So encourage an early school night.

4 A short exercise break makes studying easier!

Remember that performing a certain sports or exercise that your child likes can help him use some energy and take a break from his afternoon studies. This, in turn, will help him concentrate on his homework and enhance his ability to learn. 

How do I nurture the love for reading in my child?

It’s never too early to start teaching your child to read. But during the pre-school period it is more important that you teach your child to love books and stories more than teaching him specifically to read. These are a few steps that might help you direct your child to love reading:

  • Choose books that have plenty of pictures that he will be interested in: Choose a book full of colors and nice pictures and start by telling your child what each picture means. If you are telling him a story, stop every now and then to discuss how the picture is related to the events of the story.
  • Bring the story to life: When you read out a story, modulate your voice with different sounds and expressions, so that your child can understand it better, and point to the words while reading.
  • Read what is written anywhere: Teach your child that reading is a very important part of every person’s life. If you find the sign STOP on the road, read it out loud with spelling (S, T, O, P). Read the signs on shop names, food menus or anything you see in front of you.
  • Lead by example: Your child wants to be like you. Hold your books and read them in front of him, don’t wait till he’s asleep to read your books.
  • Make reading books a wonderful experience: Don’t tell your child that he can listen to his favourite story only if he eats his food! Don’t link reading to rewards - your child may think it’s only for special times. Rather choose daily moments while you are relaxed with your child, and ready for fun and learning. It's a great way to bond with your child! 

What sports routines can my young child start?

Below are some recommended and appropriate sports and their benefits:

  • Soccer, basketball, and tennis: These sports build physical strength in your child as well as hand-eye coordination, and cardiovascular endurance. Your child will learn how to be part of a team and will acquire a sense of discipline as well as leadership qualities.
  • Swimming: This sport teaches your child how to float and not be scared of water. Once he has mastered those basic skills, he can start to build the different swimming techniques that foster physical strength and cardiovascular endurance.
  • Bicycling, trotinette and roller blading: These sports foster balance, leg strength as well as coordination skills. Practice them together as a family during the week or the weekend.
  • Ballet: As well as having the benefits of gracefulness, ballet’s benefits include better posture, and increased flexibility. And on a social note, it gives your child a sense of rhythm.
  • Rope jumping: This sport, that kids love to play during recess, focuses mostly on hand-eye coordination, as well as the balance of hopping on your feet. It also helps in building and strengthening your child’s bones, as studies have shown it to increase bone mineral density.

Why is it important for my child to play with others?

After their parents, children learn from their peers or friends. Playing with friends plays a major role in building your child’s character and in teaching him how to act in a social environment. Here are some good reasons for allowing time for play dates:

  • Teaches manners and sharing: Children need to be reminded of the rules and sharing is something many kids take a long time to acquire, but play dates speed things along since they set the stage for your child to learn that not everything is only for him.
  • Builds imagination: Pretend play with toys or acting like mommy or daddy triggers your child’s imagination to run wild and keeps it open to learning as well as helping them learn more complex social ideas such as power (the teacher), wealth (a banker), compassion (a doctor), and cruelty (a thief).
  • Builds self-esteem: Though they're perfectly able to pick their own playmates, they still need to learn how to assert themselves and choose buddies who treat them well and make them feel good. Your child may be playing a lot with someone who never lets him take the lead, for example, so varying his playdates will teach him how to deal with the different types of children he will meet.
  • Builds communication skills: Children don’t just play side by side after the age of 3; they are now interacting with other kids building their language skills, and their vocabulary. Don’t be surprised if your child repeats a word he shouldn’t be saying; he probably heard it from one of his friends.

Remember that friends actively influence the thinking and behavior of your child at this age, so your guidance is always needed.

What do other moms ask?

You’re not alone in this, mom. There are other moms just like you who are enjoying the joy of motherhood. But like you, they’ve got some questions too. So keep reading - maybe we have already answered some of the questions you had in mind....

My child doesn’t eat much, what should I do?

At this age, your child becomes more curious and begins to explore his surroundings. This distracts him from eating. Here are some tips to encourage proper eating:

  • Make sure your child is hungry. Avoid snacking 2 hours before a main meal.
  • Allow for some quiet time before meals. He will eat better when relaxed.
  • Let your child feed himself - this is the age of independence. Put his food in child-sized dishes and utensils that he can use easily.
  • Sit down and share meals together. He’ll eat what you’re eating. Give him enough time to eat, since he’s just learned to do it himself.
  • Reward with attention and affection, not sweets. This promotes unhealthy attitudes toward food.
  • Make attractive textures, shapes and colors.
  • Respect food preferences - give him an alternative when he doesn’t like the food offered.

My toddler doesn’t like to drink milk, what should I do?

Here are some tips to help encourage your child to drink milk:

  • Involve your child in preparing his milk: This will make him more likely to accept it.
  • Dunk in the biscuit: As an afternoon snack, serve milk cold with your child’s favorite biscuits. Show him how to dunk them in and enjoy them.
  • Prepare a milk pudding with milk: Puddings are very tasty and usually very popular with the kids. They are also easy to make. Examples for puddings: mouhallabieh, rice pudding, kashtalieh.
  • Make milk fruit smoothies: These taste great and are an excellent healthy choice. Full of vitamins and minerals, they give your child a boost of energy and guess what…a cup of milk!
  • Improvise: Sometimes you need to play it smart and make milk appealing to your kids. Incorporate milk in your cooking. For example: give him soups with milk or pasta with white sauce prepared with milk.
  • Buy nice sippy cups and straws: They can make drinking the milk more fun and appealing to your child.

My child doesn’t accept the taste of meat. How can I provide the right amount of iron without it?

Your child might not be getting enough iron from a meat-free diet and can therefore be at a higher risk of developing iron-deficiency (anaemia).

Here are some tips to make him eat meat:

  • Hide minced meat in his meal. Boil it or steam it, put it in a blender until very thin and add it to his favorite foods. Mix it with mashed potatoes, pasta sauce, vegetables, or rice and yogurt dishes.
  • Keep reintroducing meat from time to time, preferably along with other foods he already knows and likes, as your child’s tastes change and he might accept meat later.
  • Try to substitute red meat with poultry or fish. If he rejects all types of meats, try eggs or pulses such as lentils and beans, chickpeas, fava beans. Or, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, dark molasses, whole grain and enriched bread and cereals. Always add a source of Vitamin C to vegetarian iron-rich sources (orange, lemon juice) to maximize the absorption of iron in your child’s body.

Some foods, such as milk and breakfast cereals, often are enriched with iron. As milk plays a vital role in your child’s daily diet, offer your child 2 cups of growing-up milk fortified with iron every day. 

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