Nutrients play an important role in the lives of all living organisms specially foods to improve growth in Children. Nutrients that we obtain from food provide our bodies with means and materials to grow, stay healthy and give energy. Therefore foods required for the growth of children should contain nutrients and these nutrients come from the different classes of food such as:-
Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Water, Minerals, and Vitamins as each play each a significant role in the body.
CLASSES OF NUTRIENTS AND SOURCES:
• Carbohydrates provides energy to the body, there exist two types ( simple and complex )
• Simple Carbohydrates: fruits, milk, vegetables, it provides energy slightly faster than complex carbohydrates
• Complex Carbohydrates: starchy vegetables, beans, whole wheat products, fibre, found in foods like fruits, vegetables.
• Proteins found in beans, meat products helps build the body, repair muscle which is very important for cell structure and function.
• Fats from foods like avocados, nuts and meat products. There exist two types of Fats ( solid and liquid).
• Liquid fats ( sesame, canola, soybeans olive, safflower they are unsaturated ).
• Solid fat ( mainly come from animal foods, beef fat, butterfat, shortenings ).
• Water helps to transport materials via the body and helps regulate body temperature.
• Minerals Like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphate are important for growth and the maintenance of tissue and cells in the body.
Consequently there exist, different age groups, to which the above nutrients are given at various quantities or/ and needs, as some may be needed in one large quantity than others.
DIFFERENT PEDIATRIC AGE GROUPS AND NUTRIENTS NEEDS:
1. Nutrition in infant/toddlers (1 – 3 years) need calcium, fats, folate (which helps cells divide), iron, zinc, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins (A, C). It is important for growth, development and maintenance of tissues and cells.
2. Nutrients in Pre-school (4 – 6 years) lean meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, legumes, whole grains such as whole wheat, bread, cereals. Dairy foods here is to be served at least twice daily, with fresh or lightly processed fruits and vegetables.
3. Nutrition in school children (7 – 10 years) proteins, essential foods calcium, iron, energy, carbohydrates and fats.
4. Nutrition in teenagers (15 – 18 years) calcium, potassium, vitamin D, protein, iron, fibre, folic acid. Proteins here are low fats, fruits, vegetables, lean meats.
However; Food intake for growth in children varies with ages, quantities and type of nutrients required per groups. Thus different foods, fruits, vegetables which contains the above nutrients are necessary for growth in children.
VEGETABLES AND NUTRITIONAL CONTENT:
There exist a variety of them:-
• Black beans ( vitamin B, protein, fibre, iron )
• Garlic ( carbohydrates, protein, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium )
• Leeks ( vitamin A, B, C and iron )
• Taro root ( protein, vitamin c, calcium, iron, fibre )
• Cucumber ( water )
• Lettuce ( water )
• Soybeans ( fat ( oil ), protein, calcium, iron )
These and many more.
FRUITS AND NUTRIENTS CONTENT:
• Tomatoes ( vitamin A, C )
• Grapes ( vitamin C, protein )
• Melons ( vitamin C )
• Apple ( carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin C )
• Strawberry ( potassium, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, carbohydrates )
There exist others.
FOODS AND NUTRIENTS CONTENT:
• Eggs ( vitamin A, vitamin B, iron, protein )
• Fish ( protein, vitamin B, vitamin D, fats )
• Chicken ( iron, protein, vitamin B )
• Milk ( vitamin A, B, D calcium, protein, fats )
• Potatoes ( fibre, iron, vitamin B, carbohydrates )
• Whole wheat bread ( carbohydrates, iron, fibre, vitamin B )
• Spinach ( vitamin A, C, iron )
There exist more …
Children need a balanced and healthy diet to gain amazing growth and development that goes from infancy, teenage to adulthood. Food plays a major factor in the growth and development of children at different stages.
Note that the quantities of each class of nutrient vary according to each group, the daily intake, the quantity of energy contains per type of nutrient varies and should be taken in accordance of the body’s requirement at each age group. Therefore parents, as well as caregivers, need to observe a good feeding habit beneficial for the child’s growth and make sure the food contains at least three classes of food of the total classes to ensure better growth and development in children. We hope this article on Foods to Improve Growth in Children was helpful; If yes then you visit this site later for more great content.