Nutrition remains the same for kids or adults, as everyone needs to consume the same things, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fats. However, the amount of nutritional dosage varies for Children at different stages of life.
It is imperative to provide kids with nutrition-rich food and limit foods such as sugar and saturated fat in their growing years of life. This is because healthy eating is essential in childhood and adolescence to support children’s growth and development and prevent various health conditions that may impede the child’s proper development. Kids two years of age and above should follow the healthy eating plan as mentioned below:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Lean meat and Eggs
- Salted and unsalted nuts
In the early stages of life, food or nutrition comes from milk, be it breast milk or milk formula. Breast milk and milk formula will provide all the nutrition the child needs in the first few years of their life.
Once the baby is six months old, it can start having solid food such as cereal, fruits, vegetables, and so on; solid food complementary to breast milk provides a complete set of nutrition for six to nine months.
It is essential to understand that kids below two years should be given healthy fats in their diet as it is necessary for babies’ brain and nerve development.
Nutrition For Toddlers and Kindergarteners
Calcium is vital as. It is the building block of the bones and is needed to build healthy and strong bones and teeth. Milk at this stage is the best source of calcium for kids, and for kids with lactose intolerant diets, soy milk, tofu, almond milk oatmeal are some excellent sources of calcium. Besides milk, it is essential to provide kids with fruit, vegetables, and a whole grains-rich diet to provide the right kind of fiber. Consuming rich fiber-based helps in aiding digestion and preventing constipation.
School Going Kids
At this stage, the body needs carbohydrates to provide the body with the right energy to support physical activity. However, it is easy for kids to grab junk in their school cafeteria or eat foods rich in sugar, fat, and sodium. Therefore, parents need to pack their lunch, providing them with healthy carbs as this helps in eating carbs in moderation and in a healthy way to avoid any weight gain issues.
Preteenagers and Teenagers
Children in their teens and preteens need more calories and dense nutrition to champion the mental, physical, hormonal, and emotional changes they are undergoing. Due to lifestyle, or eating habits, most people prefer eating junk and high-sugar food as it satisfies the taste buds and release dopamine. However, these foods need to have the right amount of nutritional value. On the contrary, some teens avoid calories, fats, and carbs because they believe it makes them fat as they become conscious of their weight and body image. This can cause eating unhealthy food or starvation for long hours; parents should take care of such issues for their children and educate them on the dos and don’ts of their health and nutrition.
Parents should ensure that kids set the right amount of calcium, which is needed to help build bone mass. Therefore, consuming milk once a day, milk-based products, or other alternatives of calcium-rich food should be consumed.
Girls in their teenagers need more iron than men due to their menstruation cycle. Hence, they must be given an iron-rich diet. Males, on the contrary, need more proteins.
Humans are made up of water, which makes up more than half of the body’s weight and is needed for every part to function correctly. It is good to keep drinking water throughout the day and not only when the child feels thirsty. In the early stages of life, babies don’t need water; however, as they grow, they need water when they are ill, when it’s hot, and when doing any physical activity.
Disclaimer: This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals that have expertise in writing for healthcare. Suppose you see any issues related to diet, nutrition, your child’s behavior, or any concerns about your kids nutrition . We strictly advise you to seek medical consultation.