Let's talk about nutrition (Part 2)

- Nuffnang blogger Mymomfriday -

Continued from: Let's Talk About Nutrition, part 1 - from Unblogged

Nutrition in early childhood to adolescence

Early childhood is a critical stage where our child experiences growth spurts. Thus, the challenge for us parents is to provide the best foods we can give in terms of nutritional value for optimal support of their physical and mental growth. According to nutritionist Joan Sumpio, here are the basic needs for the kids' early years:

  • Energy (calories per day) = age in years x 100 + 1000
  • Protein - for demands on growth of skeletal and muscular tissues and provide protection against infection
  • B-Vitamins - for energy
  • C - for formation of tooth structure
  • A - for immunity, and for vision in dim light
  • D - for the bones
  • E - acts as antioxidant

It is a fact that during this stage, pre-school-aged kids get the most nutrients, usually from the milk supplement we give them, aside from the solid foods and daily vitamins. So choose wisely -- read labels and compare brands.

Illustrated here are concerns with eating habits and some eye-opening problems young children may encounter.

(Insert photo slides 1 & 2 here:

One tip shared by Ms. Sumpio is to give your kids probiotics. Probiotics are "good bacteria for the intestinal tract...for better absorption" of nutrients. Yogurt products are the best examples. This is especially helpful if the child is not eating vegetables. Aside from the benefits we get from the "good bacteria," the products all taste yummy! It's best to find some that suits your family's tastes.

As children grow to adolescence, their eating habits significantly change and some socio-psychological factors causes this, as shown below:



With the teens' search for independence and being more conscious of their own body image, some common feeding problems occur:

  • Meal skipping -- which may lead to hormonal imbalance; can result in irregular menstruation for girls
  • Snacking
  • Reliance on fast foods
  • Non-traditional eating patterns (trying fast foods) -- can cause nutritional inadequacy, which will lead to weight loss

Among children and teens, being overweight or obese is also a growing concern of late, and the simplest solution to prevent this is to make them more active and watch their diet. It was concluded that among the popular sports activities, basketball has the highest energy expenditure per minute. 

Parents are encouraged to do physical activities together with children, which is not just for recreation, but a great motivation to keep fit as well.

Before the nutritionist ended her talk on nutrition, she presented an overview of the leading causes of death in the country. It was not surprising that heart disease tops the list. And the Filipino diet does reflect this. The findings made me all the more convinced that I have to re-evaluate and properly plan the meals I prepare for my family, especially for my two growing young children.









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