Nutritional needs of Young Children
• Young children, like infants from 0-1 years and toddlers 1-2 years, are growing rapidly. They are also very active, they require food for growth and their activities.
Guidelines for providing children's meals:
- the food must be rich in protein for body building, energy foods for their activities, minerals and vitamins for protection and vitality.
- their food should be rich in milk, meat, fish, eggs, legumes for example beans, soya beans, yams, potatoes, vegetables and fruits.
- meal times should be regular.
- young children's meals must be cooked by the most easily digested methods.
- an excessive consumption of sweets and candied that may lead to tooth decay should be avoided.
- meal time for children should be a pleasurable time. Meals should be served as attractively as possible.
• Older children: These are also growing and active. They equally need body building and protective foods. They spend much energy at play. Therefore they require sufficient energy giving foods in their diets.
• Adolescents: Adolescence is a period for rapid growth ( about the age of ten to twelve years). The adolescents therefore need proper feeding.
They also have increased appetite. Their food should be rich in protein, carbohydrates,'unwraps and vitamins.
• Adolescent girls: Require increased intake of iron. This is to make up for that which they lose monthly during menstruation.
Insufficient supply of iron in the girls diet can result in "anaemia".