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Nutritional requirements age wise: Childhood

Exercise & Fitness By Aparna Mir , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Mar 26, 2012
Nutritional requirements age wise: Childhood

A child’s nutritional requirements vary as his age progresses. The child requires more amount of nutrients and energy during his growing years.

Diet during childhood caters to no gender specifications as both boys and girls need equal amount of nutrition and energy for their body to grow and develop without any hitches. Children need a balanced diet as early as possible to inculcate good food habits in them and provide optimum nutrition for their developing bodies. Under nutrition is often a cause of poor growth and development.


The nutritional requirements of infants are quite high during their initial growing stages. Breast’s milk provides all the essential nutrients and energy required for their growth and development. As the child ages, he requires more amount of proteins and minerals for his mental and physical growth. Calcium, fiber and fats provide resistant against diseases and provide nourishment to their developing brains and bodies. Thus, they are essential for growing up kids. 


Energy requirements vary according to age, height, weight and physical activity. In the formative years, the body requires enough energy to meet all its growing and development needs. Important nutrients are calcium, iron, protein and vitamin D. Calcium is required for good bone health and teeth. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption in the body. Protein and iron too are equally important for the body to develop and function properly.


Nutritional requirements increase when the child reaches to adolescence. There is an increased requirement for energy, protein and essential fatty acids apart from a balanced diet. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Therefore, parents should stick to healthy diet without emphasizing on their child’s physical appearance. Child during this age requires extra energy and strength to keep them active in schools and extra nutrients to enhance their concentration and memory.


Proteins are essential for maintaining the height and weight of a child. Their diet should contain adequate amount of meat, poultry, fish and egg. Different vitamins are necessary for different functioning of the body such as vitamin A is essential for eyes, vitamin C for cell growth and vitamin B for the release of energy from the food. A child in his teenage should consume appropriate amount of multivitamins to improve his cell functioning, thereby enhancing his body growth.


Parents should take care of their child’s nutritional requirement. They should avoid over-feeding their child as childhood obesity can prove to an early killer. A correct diet containing essential nutrients at the correct age benefits the child mentally and physically.

 

Read more articles on Diet Basics.

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