Providing healthy and balanced meals is a priority for most families. However, having an active child creates even greater importance in nutrition. So, today we will learn about children’s nutritional concerns to be aware of.
Introduction to Children’s Nutritional Concerns
Due to the wide variety of growth rates and calorie needs of children, specific recommendations are difficult to pin down, so don’t get caught up in the details. Instead, focus on the broad properties of providing a healthy diet.
Eating nutrient-dense foods allows children to get a variety of vitamins and minerals along with the calories they need to develop physically and mentally, recover from activity, and stay healthy. In any food situation, it is vital to encourage, but not force, eating habits or consumption of specific foods.
The following are some of the main areas of concern that you should know about.
What is a Calorie?
A calorie, generally speaking, refers to an energy unit. When someone speaks about calories, they actually talk about the energy quantity from daily diets or nutrition. Depending on age, sex, and activity level, the ideal amount of calorie consumption may differ from person to person.
Calories for Children
Active children require large amounts of calories to meet the general demands of normal growth and development. Add an hour or more of practice a day and those needs will really increase.
Generally, there is no fixed amount of calories a child should or must intake, but the range for 6-12 years old kids is from 1600 to 2200 a day. And if you want to be more specific:
- 6 years: 1,600 calories/day
- 7 years: 1,600 calories/day
- 8 years: 1,600 calories/day
- 9 years: 1,800 calories/day
- 10 years: 1,800 calories/day
- 11 years: 2,000 calories/day
- 12 years: 2,200 calories/day
Focus on providing extra snacks throughout the day. Children have smaller bellies, so they cannot pack it at mealtime. Pack liquid calories like juice boxes and chocolate milk in your bags along with portable snacks like granola bars, string cheese, cut fruits and vegetables, dry cereal, or oatmeal cookies.
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are one of the primary Children’s nutritional concerns. They come also like the one of the primary nutrition alongside proteins and fats. For the proper and healthy growth of the children, a daily supply of carbohydrates is necessary.
Carbohydrates for Children
While many adults aim to steer clear of carbohydrates, keep in mind that you shouldn’t put these restrictions on your kids. Their active and growing bodies need the fast-burning energy provided by carbohydrates.
For a healthy growing child, about almost 50-60 percent of his daily calorie consumption should come from Carbohydrates. The quantity stands somewhere between 19-25 grams per day.
Instead of depriving or limiting carbohydrate-rich foods, try providing a variety of carbohydrates, such as whole-grain crackers, fig bars, fruits, whole grains, root vegetables, dairy, and grains.
What is Protein?
Proteins are one of the most important nutrition to build, replace and repair one’s body. There are required for the structure, function, and regulation of body organs.
Proteins for Younger Children
The protein needs of young people are minimal compared to what most adults get in one day. Children generally need 0.5 grams per pound of bodyweight, which can be 20 to 50 grams per day.
To put that in perspective, most adults get that rank for food. There is insufficient data to show that children who play sports need extra protein, even if they are more active.
Keep in mind that many sports foods and supplements are not developed for the needs of children, so aim to rely on real whole food options, such as dairy, legumes, meat, fish, poultry, and nuts.
What is Fat?
Fat is the third of the essential nutrients, but keep in mind, you do not want any bad fat to come near you or your child. Having enormous amounts of fat in a daily diet can cause obesity in children. But even then, fat is a must-have nutrient that provides our body with huge energy when needed.
Fat for Children
If the child is of 2-3 years of age, you can supply almost 30-35% of his/her calorie consumption as fat. And for any child older than that, the supply reduces to 25-30%.
Fat helps a kid’s body grow as it should. Fats fuel the body and help absorb some vitamins. They also are the building blocks of hormones and they insulate the body.
Keep in mind; you should always go with Unsaturated Fats found inside fishes and plant foods like salmon, avocados, olives, and walnuts, and vegetable oils like soybean, corn, canola, and olive oil.
Children’s Nutritional Concerns may cause great pain in your head. But follow the above-mentioned procedures and you are good to go! That being said, every parent should be aware of what their children need and build up a healthy child.