Nutritional Food Requirements For Newborn Baby To 5-Year-Old Child
Does your child love junk food? If so, he is missing out on important nutrients. Here are some tips to help parents meet the nutritional requirements of young children needed for proper growth.
By Sherly Ganesh
Does your child love gorging on cheese burgers and potato fries? No wonder! Most children gobble up chocolates, pizzas and sandwiches but say ‘no’ to healthy and nutritious food for children.
Therefore, it is essential to inculcate healthy eating habits in children early on and give them a balanced diet to ensure their proper growth and development. But, to do this, you need to have a good understanding of infant nutritional requirements and nutrition chart for different age groups.
Mentioned below are some tips to help parents fulfill the nutritional requirements of children aged 0–5 years.
Nutritional requirements for newborn baby to 5-year-old kids
Infant nutritional requirements
Nutritional requirements for 0–6 months
Until babies are 4–5 months old, breastfeeding is the ideal way of providing nutrition. Not only does breast milk fulfil their nutritional requirement but also boosts their immunity. Any transition to other sources of nutrition should begin only after a baby is 6 months old.
Nutritional requirements for 6–12 months
Although babies can be breastfed until they are 12 months old, breast milk can be supplemented with pure fruit juices by the time they are 6 months old. Also, it is better to feed a 6-month-old baby from a cup instead of a bottle.
Nutritional requirements for 1–5-year-old children
- Infants and young children can self-regulate the amount of calories they need. Therefore, consider demand feeding and avoid overfeeding young children.
- While offering foods to children, parents should consider its overall nutritional value rather than focussing on any one nutrient.
- Children under 3 years of age require foods that are rich in fat. They need at least 27 g of fat every day compared to 25 g required by 4–6 year olds.
- Keep children away from processed food items.
- Consider a variety of foods to fulfil the body requirement of carbohydrates, proteins, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc and other nutrients.
- Ensure that the diet provides the optimum number of calories needed for proper growth and development.
- Encourage children to engage in at least 40–60 minutes of vigorous physical activities that increase their heart rate. Some such activities are jumping, dancing and running.
- Offer fruit juices and milkshakes to children who avoid or don’t like eating fruits.
The following chart outlines the daily nutrition requirements of children who are 2–5 years old.
Recommended daily nutritional requirements for 2-5-year-old children
Children / Age: 2-3 years / Protein:16.7 gram / Fat: 27 gram / Calories: 1060 kcal / Calcium: 600 mg / Iron: 9 mg
Children / Age: 4-6 years / Protein: 20.1 gram / Fat: 25 gram / Calories: 1350 kcal / Calcium: 600 mg / Iron 13 mg
About the expert:
Written by Sherly Ganesh on 18 April 2017.
Sherly Ganesh is a nutritionist at the Columbia Asia Hospital, Bengaluru.
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