FEEDING SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN & ADULTS | What happens if Children are not Well Fed
FEEDING SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN & ADULTS: The children of school age and youths need to eat healthy & balanced diets.
It is especially important that girls eat well so that when they are women, they are well nourished and so they can produce healthy babies.
Why older children need good food:
Food needs are high during adolescence, research shows that why older children need good food is because:
The needs for most nutrients increase as girls and boys reach puberty because they are growing so quickly and often gain half their final body weight during adolescence . Adolescent boys have especially high energy needs and that is why they are often hungry and eat large quantities of food.
Girls’ need iron-rich diets. Girls’ needs for iron more than double when they start to menstruate. After this time and until menopause, girls and women always need much more iron than boys and men.
If adolescent girls become pregnant, their nutrient needs will increase higher. These can be met by giving larger or more frequent meals and snacks, selecting foods particularly high in nutrient content, and ensuring that the diet includes a wide variety of foods. The combination of pregnancy and growth makes iron needs high so that it is usually advisable to give iron supplements.
Feeding older children and adolescents:
All children need three meals and some snacks each day.
Children should have:
The first vmeal of the day, breakfast is always important but especially so if the child has to walk a
long way to school or work and/or does not eat much at midday. One of the example of a good breakfast is a starchy food (porridge, bread or cooked cassava) with milk, margarine, peanut butter or cooked beans, and fruit.
A meal in the middle of the day. Parents should try to give children a variety of different foods if they take food to school or work (e.g. bread, an egg and some fruit). If children buy food from street vendors or kiosks, they should know which foods give the best value for money.
If schools in the area provide meals or snacks, you may want to suggest ways to make these as nutrient-rich as possible, for example, by increasing the combination of foods used. If a school has a garden, you may want to make suggestions for increasing the variety of foods grown.
Ameal later in the day. This may be the biggest meal of the day for many children and so it should be a good mixed meal. Make sure parents realize that fast-growing children are usually hungry children and that they are not being greedy if they want to eat a lot.
What happens if children are not well fed:
Older children who are hungry or who have poor diets are likely to:
- Grow slowly. Their growth phase will be badly effected because of this.
- Their academic progress will be effected very badly as Hungry children cannot study well. Children who are hungry have short attention spans and do not do as well at school as they should.
- Overweight and obesity among children and youths are becoming problems in some
places because children are not gettng well fed especially urban areas. Children, like adults, are at risk of becoming overweight or obese if they eat too much, especially energy-rich food (e.g. fatty and/or
sugary foods), and consume too many fizzy drinks, and are not physically active.
- They get prone to lack vitamin A or iodine differnt nutrients and get anemic.
Ways to improve older children’s nutrition:
Children should know that sweets, sodas and lollies as they can cause tooth decay; can result in an unbalanced diet if eaten in large amounts; are poor value for money. Discourage sticky, sugar-rich and salty snacks as they give few nutrients and too much salt, and are costly.
Advise parents to use iodized salt in family meals if it is available. People who lack iodine cannot work or study well. Iodine-deficient girls who become pregnant risk having a baby who is mentally or physically damaged.
Teach children about good nutrition in schools and clubs. Deworm children regularly, especially those with heavy wormloads. Deworming improves growth and helps to prevent anaemia.
Related Articles: Probiotics And Healthy Gut Bacteria
Helthwell: To maintain good health keep sure you make a healthy approach regarding physical, mental and your own well-being.