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Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People by The Purple Aubergine


Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People


A balanced diet is crucial for children, and it helps them grow friendly and healthy. Many factors affect children diets, such as

  • Age
  • Family
  • Gendre
  • Social factors.
  • Physical activity.

From 0 to 5 months, children need only whole milk. That will help them gain all the essential nutrients he needs, and it will help promote health in any system in their body. Starting from six months, our children can eat a small amount of food chopped into tiny pieces.

From 1-6. During this period, children are highly active. They consume a lot of many energies and consequently need to get from food. Besides, their digestive system does not allow them to digest a large quantity of food; therefore, this is an excellent opportunity to eat a small amount of food during the day. Involve them in cooking and explain the benefit of a balanced diet. Also, their kidney cannot afford a large amount of salt, no more than 3 grams a day. We can feed our children with frozen fruits, tinned or canned, but we should avoid processed meals, sugary food and drinks, excess salt. 6-12. The food School Plan offers guidelines, suggestions and helps about that. Variety is the key, and children should be eating different foods from the five groups to gain all the nutrients they need to grow up friendly and healthy. However, children do not have access to food as food is always cooked and provided to them. Family, schools, and organisations decide the “when what and how” they will eat.

13-19 Without any doubt, these are the most problematic years. Teenagers have more freedom to social events, and they are often unsupervised by parents. They must deal with many new experiences in any aspect of their lives, including nutrition. Some of them will stick with the family scheme; others will experience fresh foods, unique drinks, and everything that is trendy or seems good to his eyes. Besides, other factors influence their diets, such as physical activity, growth, and development. Consequently, family and organisation need to lead as an example and establish an open-minded relationship to healthy food choices. Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People

Children and young people require a different amount of food from the five groups. That happens because other factors affect their diet.

Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Physical activity.
  • Social events.
  • Culture and beliefs.
  • Family

Everyone should eat foods from the five groups in different amounts. Children should not eat more than 2g of salt a day and only whole milk. After six years, semi-skilled milk is suggested. From the five groups, they can get Macronutrients and Micronutrients. Macro is a word that comes from the ancient Greek language and means a large amount, big, vast. In this group, we find the most nutrients we need: Carbohydrates, Fats, and proteins. Micro comes from ancient Greek language too and means small, in this group we find nutrients that our body needs but in smaller amount: Vitamins and Minerals.

Carbohydrates are four different groups of sugars, which means a lot of energy for our body. Besides, during digestion, carbohydrates are broken down to glucose. Glucose is the fuel for our brain. Our brain uses the 40% of glucose in our body, more than any other organ. Excellent sources of carbohydrates are vegetables, fruits, whole grains. After that, they need Fats. If we could open our heads, take out our brain and squeeze it all, what comes out is Fat. We understand why fats are crucial for our brain and nervous system. Besides, fats regulate the temperature in our bodies. They carry fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K.  To conclude, we need protein. Proteins are groups of amino acids. Their role is crucial in our body. They repair muscles, carry haemoglobin, and allow many processes in our body. Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People

Micronutrients consist of vitamins and Minerals. We need them in a smaller amount; they have a specific role; for example, Vitamin C helps the immune system and our brain. Vitamins A or Beta-Carotene promotes good skin and allow our eyes. Minerals such as manganese, potassium and zinc support our brain. Calcium helps our bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Children and young people need them in a different amount.


Situation Behaviours and barriers to healthy eating.
Children from 1 to 6 years old The family provides ready meals. Schools provide ready meals from approved suppliers: sugary snacks and unhealthy drinks from vending machines. Children will learn that this is the best food they can eat. That will reinforce the wrong behaviours putting them at risk of obesity and deficiency of nutrients.
7 to 12 years old Children will keep going with their previous years’ eating behaviour. Besides, they will start to take part in more social events. That means they can try new food and learn new skills.


Having an open-minded relationship with food can be constructive, and kids could start to prefer healthier than what they usually eat.

12 – 18 years old

These are the most problematic years. Children become a teenager and therefore get ready to be adults. They will experience and learn how to deal in many situations during these years, including food. Cinema, parties, Celebrations, and most social events happen unsupervised. Many will stick with healthy eating behaviours and learn that there is better food than processed food and drinks water, and juices are a better nutritious choice. Others will choose what is trendy to their eyes that do not always fit the healthy options. For example, alcohol and substance misuses, junk foods and energy drinks are quite common in teenagers. That will lead them to different health issues that will involve any aspect of their lives.

Changing behaviour is not the easiest thing a person can do. It involves a good level of acceptance, humility and other principles to understand that our behaviour is wrong. In his book becoming a better person, Karl Rogers said: “The curious paradox is that I have to accept myself exactly the way I am and after I can change myself to be a different person”.

After we decide to change, most will need a counsellor or nutritional counsellor. Applying different strategies and behaviours models will help to reach healthy behaviour.

Obesity and starvation are two faces of the same coin. If children and young people do not intake the proper nutrients, their bodies and minds will develop diseases.

The deficiency of nutrients can produce different symptoms and cause various health issues. Minerals such as Zinc, Manganese, Potassium or Vitamin C are essential for our brain and mental health. Common symptoms of deficiency are fatigue, loss of memories and difficulty to focus. Besides, we could end up with m mental health issues such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and others. Other Vitamins, such as the B group, consist of 8 vitamins that help our metabolism function. For example, Nathan (B1) helps break up carbohydrates into smaller molecules during digestion. Common symptoms of Vitamins B deficiency involve many different body and mind areas.

OF course, we have symptoms of an excess of all the nutrients above and related diseases starting from obesity. Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People

We have different organisations that give suggestions, help and guidelines for our kids and their nutrition. Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People

Firstly we need to see what kind of help we need. Do we need recommendations and guidelines or a therapist to help deal with behaviour change? It is a problem rooted in the kids’ or their parent’s skills and behaviours? Secondly, our GP can give professional guidelines and consider if we need to be referred to a dietician or food therapist. To conclude, we can find good information resources online on approved websites such as the Food Standard Agency or the government websites. We also have an organisation such as charities, schools and others. We can get further help from any of them. For example, if we think we suffer from eating disorders, we could ask help from our GP or local charities such as B-Eat.

On the other hand, for the woman during pregnancy, it could be better to ask for help from Health Starting or local charities. To conclude, we have plenty of organisations that offer support to anyone in need. The following organisations show an excellent example of help.

Children and young people are considered vulnerable people. Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People

We should follow all the health and safety rules regarding hygiene and food preparation suggested by the Food standard agency when we cook for them. For example, clean all the vegetables and use cleaned utensils. That will avoid cross contaminations. Besides, we should wash all the vegetables and fruits we will serve. We should not serve uncooked meats, processed food or sugary foods. I remember my chef time I was in a school cooking for pupils and I loved them. They could not wait with their try in their hands to pick up their food, meantime making comments about the food and the Chef Lovely experience. However, the standard food agency and the government dictate the health and safety of food prestigious we should follow when we cook. The target is to keep everyone safe from illness related to food. What are basic rules that everyone should follow, including people who cook at home? Sadly, many people do not have food safety skills, which does not happen. For example, raw meat should be stored away from other foods, but when we go to the shops, the cashier mixes everything in the same bag, and someone will put the food everywhere in the fridge. We should use cleaned utensils, measuring cups and measuring jugs. That will allow us to control how much food we intake and see even a considerable amount of saving in money. “if we cannot measure, we cannot control.”

There is a considerable amount of food from the five groups where she can get all the nutrients her body requires, and it is an elementary food that everyone can cook. Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People

We must have plenty of carbohydrates that will provide energy to her. That includes the Cereals and wholegrains used for breakfast, lunch and diners. To support breakfast, I have chosen eggs too. Eggs have plenty of nutrients, fats, proteins, vitamins B groups, and minerals.

Proteins and fats will come from meats, fish, and nuts. Proteins will help her muscles and tissues to heal and regenerate. Also, proteins will improve the quality of digestion and other processes in her body, including taking oxygen to the bloodstream and sending it all over the body. We know how much fats are essential for the nervous system and brain; consequently, she should notice better mental health.

We can notice meals such as Fish and Chips, Sunday Roast and similar foods on the weekend. They can be made a bit healthier. For example, we can use a gluten-free batter for the fish and chips. We can make it golden brown in a pan with less oil and finish it in the oven—the same for Sunday roast. We could make all our Sunday roast from scratch instead of frozen Yorkshire puddings and processed sauces. However, we are not looking for perfection but mindful eating. Consequently, one day a week, we can enjoy our treat.

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Nutritional Needs Of Children & Young People


Older adult should have ebough calcium in their diet and vitamin d to avoid bones issues


Low Gi foods is more indicated for older adults, that will allow them to balance their sugar and cope with diabetes


A good balanced diet will help you to reach your goals faster. It will help you to focus and will shape your body .

Planning On Changing Your Lifestyle?

Trying to focus on the solution rather than the causes. That will lead you to a different level of thinking, reduce your stress, and make you feel better. Being constantly under stress increase the level of cortisol. Cortisol loves to help our body to store fat in our hips and our abdomen. Right now, we know how to identify our triggers and learn how to deal with them. After that, the biggest challenge has an action plan to prevent relapse. A good relapse prevention plan includes three main steps. Firstly, recognize your triggers, secondly, deal with them and finally use our self-efficacy to deal with them without back in the old habits.

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Nutritional Counsellor| specialised in Mental Helth and Eating Disorder| | Food Production

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