Nutrition For Kids: Different Age groups & Different Nutritional Needs!

Jun 04, 2019

Every parent wants the proper growth of their kids. To ensure the adequate development of a child's body and mind, a diet involving all the essential nutrients is a must. For different age groups, different foods holding different nutritional values is important. Nutrition for babies is different than that of the adults, thus knowing the same is important.

Nutrition for Babies of Age: 1-3 Months

Babies take one year to double or triple their weight and thus, providing proper nutrients comes as a mandate. Breastfeeding is necessary for the babies of 1-3 months of age. Do not introduce solid foods to the babies at this age. Babies coverup the need for water from the milk and there is no such requirement as solid foods are not added to the diet. However, once babies are introduced to solid weights, intake of water is necessary.

Baby Nutrition Guidelines: 4-6 Months

Ideally, the baby should stick to breast milk until 6 months of age. However, as per a report,  infants can be introduced to some solid foods, provided in fewer amounts. It is done to develop a taste in babies for solid foods. Breast milk generally fulfills the nutrient requirements of the baby and also encompass protective and immunological factors, required for the immunity of the baby. For introducing solid foods, serving cooked small portions of veggies, rice and oatmeal cereals, soft fruits like bananas, etc. are enough. Never give anything hard or big as chunks to avoid the risk of choking.

Baby Nutrition Chart for Age: 6 to 12 Months Old

After or around the 6th month of age, babies must be introduced to solid foods. Notwithstanding the intake of solid food, breastfeeding must be continued until 12 months of age. The mix of solid foods and breastfeeding will help in providing proper nutrition for babies. Babies after disengaging themselves from breast or bottle milk lack stored iron in the body. Thus, in order to maintain the nutrition level, add baby foods rich in iron to the diet. One should follow the following steps to ensure adequate growth of the babies.
  • Prepare food items that are rich in iron and Zinc for the babies. Iron-enriched baby cereals, pureed meats, and some dishes prepared with tofu (plain), soybeans, lentils, and legumes are the food items that are recommended by the nutritionists to help proper growth of the babies.
  • Addition of salt, sugar, and honey is unnecessary at this age, hence, avoid them.
  • Avoid Cow's milk in the initial 12 months. Only add pasteurized milk can in small amounts in cereals.
  • Avoid fruit juices and sweetened drinks. Instead, make the baby eat whole fruits.
  • In order to avoid long-term exposure of baby's teeth to sugar-sweetened liquids, take the milk bottle away from them as soon as the milk is finished.
  • Avoid hard nuts and foods to avoid the risk of choking.
  • Introduce new foods by taking time. Do not confuse the baby by giving different foods every day. A gap of 3-4 days must be there. This also helps understand if baby has some kind of allergy to any kind of food.
  • In order to fulfil Vitamin D needs of the baby, expose them to sunlight for some time and do it occasionally. Ensure that you ask the pediatrist to know the relation between the season, skin tone and related requirement of exposure to the sunlight.

Nutrition For Young Kids

Once the kid has started eating solid foods, many options show up in front of the parents. Howbeit, choosing the best for the proper growth of the child is important. Not only this, this is the age when building habits is also crucial. Children can be picky with food, however, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure the child gets to intake all the important nutrients in one or the other way. Children might simply say no to the food type, which holds high nutritional value. In such scenarios. trying again and again in different ways is the key. Make the food look appealing and tasty to ensure that the child builds a habit of eating it. Along with the options available, parents must notify the needs and bodily requirements of the child. There are different energy requirements for different children, thus, knowing the daily nutritional needs is important. Noticing the physical activity of the kid plays an important role in deciding the levels of food intake required. Child's requirement of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and other nutrients increases with age. One way to judge the appropriate food intake by the child can be keeping an eye on a child's weight and noticing if it is adequate or not. Parents must consult a dietician or nutritionist to avoid the risks of problems like obesity, overweight, food allergies & sensitivities, and tooth decay, etc.

Foods Required By the Children Entering Teenage

An increase in appetite in girls at the age around 10-11 years of age and boys around the age 12-13 years of age points towards the growth spurt of puberty. The body demands more calories and food at early adolescence more than any other age level. At average boys require 2,800 calories per day, while girls need an average of 2,200 calories each day. To serve the additional energy required for the growth and activity of the kid, the food must contain nutrients in the proper amount. Avoid foods like fast foods or foods rich in trans fat, instead of foods like fruits, legumes, fish, and lean meat. In order to boost calcium intake for proper bone and teeth development, add food items like milk, yogurt, and cheese to the diet.   Bibliography

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