Each stage of life brings its own rewards and its own challenges, and we should cherish and make the most of each one of them, through our childhood and youth to adulthood, middle age and then our vintage years. It’s possible to look beautiful and enjoy great health throughout our lives, but to do so we need to pay special attention to the food we eat. Dietary requirements change at different stages throughout our lives and being aware of this can help us remain happy and healthy at all times.
Childhood Dietary Requirements
Childhood is a time of great growth both physically and mentally, so we need a diet that supports this growth in the best way possible. If you’re a parent then you’ll want to ensure that your children have a diet that’s balanced and nutritious, so steer them away from the sugar and salt laden snacks that they naturally favor. Carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber are all vital for a child’s diet, so some dietary plans or choices made by adults are unsuitable for children. Vitamin A, that aids growth, and Vitamin C, for strong bones and teeth, are essential for children, and they also require more thiamin, riboflavin and niacin than an adult in their twenties.
Dietary Needs During Pregnancy
As adults, following a balanced diet and also exercising regularly can help us keep in shape and feeling good, but special dietary considerations need to be taken into account during pregnancy. The old adage about ‘eating for two‘ is a myth, and can make it harder for new mothers to lose excess weight after childbirth. In fact, during the first six months of pregnancy women should eat no more than usual, and in the final three months they only need to take on board an extra 200 calories per day, that’s about two pieces of toast with a spread on top. Pregnant women should, however, ensure they eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, and at least one source of protein daily, which can typically come from eggs or pulses.
Dietary Requirements for Senior Citizens
Senior citizens sometimes lack the appetite that they had in their younger years, and they also may have special dietary requirements to consider because of medical conditions such as diabetes. Such people should always follow the advice of a physician, or the guidance of specially trained dietary aides. They have the expertise to help people of all ages, as this dietary aide job description shows, but they often work in hospitals or nursing homes helping the elderly. They ensure that specific dietary instructions are kept, and that senior citizens take in a plentiful supply of Vitamin D and calcium, which are important to keep their bones strong and healthy.
Dietary requirements differ from age to age, and they can also be affected by illness or disease, but the central theme is that it’s always important to eat well and healthily. That typically means following a balanced diet, not over eating, and choosing fruit and vegetables over sugary snacks and foods. By following these rules, and the advice of physicians and dietary aides when necessary, we can keep fit and full of energy into a happy old age.