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It is vital that children have proper nutrition and a healthy diet for their optimal development
potential. During childhood and adolescence, dietary habits and exercise can make the
difference between a healthy lifestyle and the risk of disease in later years. At different
stages of life, different nutrients are required.
It is understood that healthy living lifestyle in which the person maintains a harmonious
balance in their diet , physical , intellectual , recreation (especially outdoors ) rest, hygiene
and spiritual peace activity.
During the first 12 months of life, a baby triples its weight and height increases by 50
percent. These increases in weight and height are the main indexes used for evaluating
nutritional status and are measured at regular intervals and compared with standard
growth charts. These measurements are important in assessing the child's progress,
especially between 6 and 12 months of life tools.
Breastfeeding, according to the child's needs, remains the best way to feed a healthy baby
is born at term. Human milk meets all nutritional needs for growth and development of the
baby. In addition, the first 4-6 months of life are a period of rapid growth, especially for the
brain, as breast milk contains amino acids and fatty acid is ideal to meet those needs.
Breast milk also contains antibacterial and anti-infective agents, including
immunoglobulins, which have great importance in strengthening the immune system.
Colostrum, which is the fluid produced by the mammary glands during the first few days
after birth, is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. It also contains antibodies and antiinfective agents, anti-inflammatory factors, growth factors, enzymes and hormones that
are beneficial to the development and growth of the baby.
Breastfeeding is highly recommended for psychological, physiological and emotional
reasons. There is no reason why that should not continue breastfeeding up to two years,
as it is beneficial for the mother and child from a nutritional point of view. However, due to
changes in lifestyle and commercial availability, they are sometimes used for infant
formulas, which are generally safe, provided they are used preparations authorized and
under appropriate hygienic conditions. Infant formulas attempt to mimic as much as
possible the composition of breast milk and its use must comply with the guidelines
established by the European Union and the World Health Organization. Formula-fed
children also should eat as they need, and for optimal growth of the baby, to be prepared
promptly following the manufacturer's instructions. We must pay special attention to
sterilization of utensils used to feed the child, and thus reduce the risks of contamination,
because formula-fed babies do not have the same immunological protection as breastfed


During these years, the child begins to have its own personality and to show their
independence, to move freely and to choose the food they eat. Although the child is still
growing, the speed with which it grows is lower than in the first 12 months of life. At the
end of the third year of age, both girls and boys will reach 50 percent of their adult height.
During this time, children are able to drink through a straw and eat with a spoon, and often
become "maniacs" with meals. Consuming a variety of foods will allow the child to choose
between different flavors, textures, and colors that can satisfy your appetite. The most
important factor is that different foods to addressing its energy needs. Food consumption
will be increasingly influenced by the eating habits of your family and the people around
you. All food experiences may have important effects on food likes and dislikes and eating
habits later in life. It should not be rushed lunch hours, but you have to feed them relaxed
and prepare the ground for their attitudes toward food are healthy.
After 4 years, decrease the energy needs of the child per kilogram of weight, but the actual
amount of energy (calories) required increases as the child gets older. From 5 years to
adolescence, there is a period of slow but steady growth. In some cases, the food intake of
some children do not contain the recommended amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins A and
D and vitamin C, although in most cases the contributions -always energy and protein are
correct and consume a variety of foods among other fruits and vegetables-it is unlikely to
have deficiencies. Eat regularly and eat healthy snacks that include carbohydrate-rich
foods, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes and
nuts will contribute to proper growth and development, provided that the contribution
energy diet is not excessive. Children need to drink plenty of fluids, especially if it is hot or
they are physically active. Obviously, water is a good source of fluid, and a fluid that has
no calories. But variety is important in the diets of children and other liquids may be
chosen to provide the necessary fluids, such as milk and dairy drinks, fruit juices and soft
The nutritional needs of young people are influenced by the acceleration of growth that
occurs at puberty. The peak of growth is usually given between 11 and 15 years for girls
and between 13 and 16 in boys. The nutrients needed by adolescents rely heavily on each
person and food intake can vary greatly from day to day, so they can consume insufficient
or excess one day, and compensate the next day. At this time of life, there is a risk that
deficiencies of certain nutrients, such as iron and calcium suffer.


One of the deficiency diseases related to diet that is most common among adolescents is
iron deficiency anemia. Teenagers are especially susceptible to anemia caused by iron
deficiency because their blood volume and increase muscle mass during growth and

development. This increases the need iron to make hemoglobin, the red pigment in the
blood that carries oxygen, and a protein called myoglobin found in muscles. Increasing
lean body mass (LBM), composed mainly of muscle, is more pronounced in adolescent
boys than in girls. Before adolescence, lean mass is more or less the same in both sexes.
However, when adolescence begins, the boy undergoes a more rapid accumulation of
LBM for each kilogram of weight increases during growth, and finally its maximum lean
mass becomes twice that of a girl. Other factors influencing the need for iron is greater are
weight gain and the onset of menstruation in girls. All these factors should be taken into
account when assessing iron needs in this age group. One of the most important issues to
consider during adolescence is the need to increase consumption of iron-rich foods such
as lean meats and fish as well as beans, green vegetables, nuts and iron-fortified cereals.
The iron comes from animal foods (known as haem iron) is much better absorbed than
iron from food of non-animal origin (non-heme iron). Adolescents following vegetarian diets
are therefore more at risk of iron deficiency. But vitamin C (in citrus fruits) and animal
proteins (meat and fish) favor the absorption of non-heme iron.
99% of body calcium reserves are concentrated in the bones and accelerating growth
during adolescence, increasing bone weight is faster. Around 45% of adult bone mass is
formed during adolescence, but continues to grow thereafter until about thirty years. All the
calcium needed for bone growth must come from the diet. The largest gains are made in
early adolescence, between 10-14 years in girls and 12-16 in bos.
During peak adolescent growth, the average calcium retention in girls is 200mg / day and
300 mg day in boys. The calcium that is absorbed is approximately 30%, so it is important
that the diet supplies adequate amount for the densest bones. It is crucial to achieve peak
bone mass during childhood and adolescence to reduce the risk of osteoporosis later. If
several servings of dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese recommended levels
of calcium get eaten.
In addition to a good supply of calcium that comes from diet to strengthen bones other
vitamins or minerals, such as vitamin D and phosphorus are needed. Physical exercise is
also essential, especially exercises that is loaded with the weight of the body and stimulate
the strengthening and conservation of bones. It can strengthen bone mass if activities
such as cycling, gymnastics, skating, ball games, dancing and supervised weight training
for at least 30-60 minutes a day, three to five times a week are made. If young people
adopt a lifestyle and proper diet from the start, they develop more easily healthy behaviors
that may continue for the rest of your life. To learn more about exercise.
Energy and nutrient intake, usually develop during childhood, particularly during
adolescence. The family and school environment has a great importance in determining
the child's attitude toward certain foods and eating them.
Adolescents also be exposed to food fads and slimming trends, tend to skip meals and
develop irregular eating habits. One of the foods most frequently skip is breakfast. Studies
show that breakfast is vitally important to provide the energy and nutrients after an
overnight fast, and contributes to increased concentration and performance at school.
Snacks between meals are part of the eating habits of children and adolescents. Young
children are not able to eat large amounts at once, so usually hungry long before the next
scheduled time arrives for food. Snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon can help meet the

energy needs required throughout the day. Teenagers, who are active and grow quickly,
have significant energy and nutritional needs, but if included materials on food and
nutrition in their school curricula, may have enough knowledge to make informed decisions
about the foods that take hours of the main meals and between meals.
Typically, the energy needs of teenagers often rely on their fast growth, and each must
assess these needs according to their appetite. As a result, most teenagers maintains
energy balance and food consumption contributes varied enough for their growth and
development are optimal nutrients. However, stress and emotional disorders can seriously
affect the energy balance in adolescents, resulting in insufficient or excessive food
consumption. Mild or severe infections, nervousness, menstrual, dental or skin problems
(acne) are factors that can cause an alteration of appetite, and adolescents who consume
poor diets are the most vulnerable. Emotional stress is often associated with food fads and
fashion to be thin, which can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. On the
other hand, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents has
become today one of the major nutritional problems, since it is likely to continue to affect
them in adulthood. Teens who are developing are particularly concerned about body image
and excessive weight can have a profound impact on your emotional and physical health.
There are several factors, socioeconomic, biochemical, genetic and psychological factors
that cause obesity, and they are closely related. To learn more about obesity and
overweight. Lack of exercise is vitally important in the development, evolution and
perpetuation of obesity in adolescence. It has been observed in surveys of young people,
most are not very active, so that health professionals and governments are encouraging a
higher level of physical activity among children and adolescents. Physical inactivity not
only has a great importance in the development of overweight and obesity, but also
influences the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, some cancers,
diabetes, hypertension, bowel problems and osteoporosis, addition, exercise helps
improve body flexibility, balance, agility and coordination and strengthen bones. Currently it
is recommended that children practice physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day. To
learn more about exercise