Childhood & teenage is the most important time in a person’s life. After birth the increased growth rate of the child continues up to 18-19 years of age. Thus the amount of nutrients needed for a child is much greater than an adult. At this age the physiological development of the person is not complete, so the person is not very aware of maintaining a balanced diet rich in the nutrients needed by the body. As a result, the person fails to obtain the nutrients in the food needed by the body. Owing to fewer nutrients the body becomes weak; the person can suffer from serious diseases, and many times the patient have to live the rest of his life with his or her body thin & weak. So the responsibility of the parents towards their children is more. They have to be very careful about the food their children eat.
The rate of growth is the fastest in females from 11-13 years and in males 13-15 years. The amount of nutrients needed by the body is not same for all. We have to consider the person’s sex, age, the rate of growth to know the demand of food needed by the person. The more the rate of growth the more food is needed. The growth & development of the body depends a lot on food.
Nutrients that are required to be in the food eaten by the children:
- There must be enough calories to provide the working energy.
- There must be enough proteins for repair & fast growth of the body.
- As the bones & teeth develop in this age, so there must be sufficient minerals & vitamin D in the diet.
In many countries children of this age suffer from the lack of nutrients mostly protein, calcium, iron, & vitamin A, whose main cause is poorness, lack of knowledge on food nutrients, and lack of a good appetite. In this age the children spend most of their time in school & the amount of food they eat there is inadequate for their body. Amount of food a 10-12 year old child should ingest everyday are as follows:
· 320g fiber
· 60g split peas
· 100g fruit
· 50g milk
· 200g fish or meat
· 130g oil or butter
Lack of the above mentioned items can be harmful.
If the child does not like to eat then vitamin D capsule can be provided but the age must be considered. The demand of food by the body is very high in this age even though the child has low appetite. So take care of your child very well and make him understand the necessity of food that he must eat to keep his health good.