Nutrition is a basic human need and a prerequisite to a healthy life. A proper diet is essential from the very early stages of life for proper growth, development and to remain active. Especially during the school childhood, making the habit of regular age-appropriate physical activities is also essential along with nutrition in order to maintain a healthy life in the adulthood. The fact is, however, children at school need family supervision as much as before. Parental control has a crucial role over the child’s ability to choose nourishment, especially in the likelihood of becoming influenced by friends, and their tendency of skipping meals.
School children are still at the growing period. Growth requirements are determined by the physical activities, genetic features, and body structures, which all affect the overall nutritional needs. While the qualitative characteristics of the required nutrition for this age group are the same as adults, the required amounts differ significantly. Appetite increases especially during rapid growth periods; likewise, if the growth slows down the nutrient amount that is taken decreases. Carbohydrates and fats provide energy for growth and physical activities. Proteins which form and repair the body tissues are essential for healthy growth. It is strongly recommended that every school children should consume foods rich in protein, such as meat, fish, or poultry 2-3 portions a day in addition to milk and dairy products, which are also good sources of protein.
Although there is enough calcium in milk and dairy products, or the dark green vegetables to satisfy the daily requirements of young children, the need for increasing amounts at the adolescence cannot be satisfied. Iron requirements increase with the increase in blood volume during this period. Among the best sources of iron are meat, fish, barnyard fowl, and bread and cereals which are prepared rich in iron.
With your little one all set to join school, you must ensure you are well-prepared to cater to his/her diet requirements. This will ensure your child develops in a healthy manner, both physically and mentally.