Our bodies need nutrients to function. When talking about food we often ask – Is the food full of nutrients or nutrient rich?
A growing child needs recommended daily serves of nutrients. Nutrients are the substances in food that our bodies process to enable it to function.
WHAT DECIDES OUR NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS?
Age, growth stage and activity are factors that decide our nutrient requirements.
There are two nutrients categories:
Macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, fats
Micronutrients – vitamins and mineral like calcium, iron, vitamin C.
Growing kids have important daily dietary needs for their continued growth and physical development. Food that contains a healthy mix of vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates and protein will provide the nutrients necessary for growth and development. Together kids should eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables every day.
A child needs a healthy, balanced diet to achieve his full growth potential and nutrient influences a child’s development.
WHY KIDS ARE NOT HUNGRY DURING MEALTIME?
Today, there are so many nutrient poor foods available.
‘Nutrient poor’ foods mean they don’t contain much nutrition that the body needs in order to grow and function.
Hence, if your kid is snacking on biscuits or a packet of chips, such food items are full of energy (kilojoules). However, these are not nutritional. Candies, cookies and certain beverages/sodas have empty calories. They are calories that don’t have any nutritional value. Eating them will make your kid feel full and satisfy cravings. Hence she will not feel hungry during mealtime. When such items are eaten by kids in between meals as snacks, it will provide the body with energy, and that’s why kids won’t feel hungry. For example, sipping on a cola drink. It has a high sugar content that provides high energy, but is rare in nutrient value.
These items are void of other essential nutrients that the body needs to function. And kids often snack on junk foods in between their meals. Therefore, by meal-time they feel less hungry.
As a result, the since the body is getting energy from these ‘nutrient poor’ food items, it feels less hungry.