Nutritional Needs For Growing Child
By Nmami Agarwal
A good selection of nutritious food at growing age ensures that children reach their full potential for growth, development and health!
Healthy food has the utmost importance during the growing age because several changes takes place during this age and different changes require different nutrients at every growth stage. Nutritional benefits vary with age as it prevents from different health risks at each stage and it has dissimilar absorption levels. Few different nutritional requirements and its importance are as followed.
Different nutrient importance
Nutrition in Infancy (6monts to 2 years): The major nutrients food required in infancy after 6 months to years are:
- Iron: The first and foremost important development is the development of brain and improvement of memory which is the work of iron. You can find considerate amount of iron in fortified cereals, potato, eggs, soya bean, and spinach.
- Zinc: The babies catch infections at a much higher rate than any other age. Zinc is an important mineral which helps in the production of white blood cells that fights against infections.
Zinc enriched foods are cheese, whole milk, yogurt, lentils, and cereals.
- Calcium: The tender bones of a child need strengthening, calcium helps in the development of teeth and bones. Calcium is found in cheese, orange, oatmeal, and yogurt.
- Vitamins: Vitamins essential for child growth are Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K.
Food rich in vitamin A are carrots, sweet potato, and broccoli. Vitamin B is rich in green leafy vegetables, beans, and bananas. Vitamin C can be obtained from tomatoes, strawberry, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Vitamin D is found in cow milk and egg yolk.
- Omega-3: Omega-3 is essential for vision, brain development, and development of cognitive skills. Omega-3 rich foods are salmon, nut, seeds and avocado.
Nutrition in Early childhood (3 years to 8 years): Early childhood is the fastest growing age, the foods consumed at this age helps throughout life for further development and over all well-being. Apart from iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamins the body requires followed nutrients. Have a look!
- Proteins: Proteins build cells and aids in food breakdown to provide energy, fight infection, and carry oxygen. You can find ample amount of protein in nuts, beans, egg, fish, poultry and dairy products like milk and curd.
- Fibers: It is very important to develop bowel regularity at this growing age. Fiber also reduces the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Fiber-rich foods are whole-grains, cereals, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and nuts.
- Carbohydrates: Children do a lot of activities at growing age where carbohydrates are a most important source to supply the required energy. Sources of good carbs are sweet potato, oranges, blueberry, milk, and oats.
Nutrition in Middle childhood (8-11): The nutrition taken at this preteen age prepares the child for their respective teenage. Various changes take place in male and female during this age.
- Fats: Healthy fats are the great source of energy and also stores energy in the body. It also helps in absorbing other important nutrients. High-level fat food includes avocados, chia seeds, fatty fish, and olive oil.
- Micronutrients: Micronutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, potassium and zinc can be obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas, spinach, potatoes and apricots.
Apart from fats, vitamin A and proteins during preteen it is very important to consume proper water and water-rich fruits like cucumber, orange, and watermelon.
Over to you
Growing age leads to growth of overall body and mind. For proper growth at each stage, it is essential to take nutrients required for target developments. Taking care of nutrition at early age helps in preventing health deterioration and aids in proper growth.
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