During the first few years of life, the feeding of the baby is followed and regulated by the pediatrician.
However, it is also necessary for parents to be aware of the child’s nutritional needs and therefore comply with the indications received. Those under the age of 12 are generally those most at risk of malnutrition by default, because their need for energy and nutrients is higher – in relation to weight – when compared to that of adults. Proper nutrition at this stage of life is essential for normal growth, for the development and for the performance of the various activities.
WHICH MISTAKES DO OUR BOYS COMMONLY DO?
They avoid or reduce morning breakfast to very little.
Avoid or minimize the consumption of vegetables and fruit during the two main meals.
Avoid intermediate snacks in the morning and afternoon, or limit them to attractive products with reduced nutritional value.
Exceed in the consumption of foods such as cured meats, chocolate and bars, French fries, candies and other packaged sweets (with the related problems related to the spread of dental caries), and carbonated drinks (rich in sugar and often caffeine).
They give excessive space to American style "fast-food", rich in foods high in calories, saturated fat, salt and simple sugars and low in fiber and vitamins
It is difficult for children and young people to cover their needs with just three main meals. It is therefore appropriate to provide them, in addition to the latter, also two calibrated snacks that help to meet the particular needs in calories and nutritional principles typical of these ages, but which in any case are of moderate entity, such as not to compromise the appetite in the next meal. Children and young people should be encouraged to consume sufficient quantities of a wide variety of foods rich in energy and nutrients, without ever neglecting fruit and vegetables: a diet suitable for building new fabrics for the years of growth. It is particularly important to ensure the right quantities of protein, vitamins (especially C, D and complex B) and mineral salts (especially calcium, iron and iodine, the latter also through the use of iodized salt). A varied and distributed diet on several occasions during the day guarantees coverage of these needs. The eating habits acquired by young people often persist over time: it is therefore important to teach children from an early age how to get the best out of the foods we have available.
Unfortunately, the current reality indicates the frequent and growing presence, in school-age children, of incorrect and overweight eating habits, deriving from wrong food choices and excessive sedentary lifestyle.
All this worries a lot in terms of health, both because it lays the foundations for easier obesity in adulthood, and because it facilitates the subsequent appearance of many chronic-degenerative diseases typical of the modern era. Parents and educators must therefore make sure that their children avoid the most common food errors in this age group (see Box 6), get used to eating correctly (also by chewing well and giving the meal all the time it deserves) and being physically more active every day (walking, playing outdoors, etc.), also in addition to any organized sports activity. It is also good that young people do not fossilize into monotonous choices but get used to eating everything, distribute their diet in several meals without abolishing breakfast, consume milk and derivatives, vegetables and fruit more frequently and do not exceed in the consumption of meat and foods rich in saturated fats as well as in sugar, salt and carbonated drinks.
In conclusion – How to behave:
•Eat breakfast, divide your diet appropriately throughout the day and choose vegetables and fruit more frequently.
• Avoid exceeding the consumption of sweet foods and carbonated drinks, and allow yourself to indulge in the typical American fast-food dishes too frequently.
• Dedicate at least 1 hour a day to physical activity and movement (walking, playing outdoors, etc.).
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