The Health and Nutrition of Children

The subject of the health and nutrition of children and what exactly constitutes each one has often been debated. There are several schools of thought as to what makes a child healthy, and what completes a child’s nutrition. Though the debate continues on till today, one thing most nutritionists and doctors can agree on is that health and nutrition do go hand in hand. It can’t be said that one is more important than the other because they almost always come together.

According to the World Health Organization, health is being physically well and free from disease. Given that definition, the health and nutrition of children seems easy enough to achieve. While your children may be physically well and free from disease, however, it doesn’t mean that they are not on their way to the opposite. This is why healthy eating is given such a focus when it comes to good health. Healthy eating maintains your child’s physical well being and boosts their immune system to assure you that they will remain free from disease.

Nutrition, on the other hand is being able to provide a child’s body with all the necessary nutrients they need. This is also very easy to follow and nutrition of children is always within anyone’s reach. Many times parents turn to vitamins to make sure that their children get all the necessary nutrients. While vitamins are good, especially if your child cannot eat certain foods from which they can get certain vitamins, most children with healthy and balanced diets don’t need vitamins. Healthy food can provide your child with most if not all of what your child’s body needs.

Quite obviously, the health and nutrition of children go hand in hand. Healthy food provides proper nutrition, while being properly nourished provides a certain amount of good health. These two factors need each other, but it can only go so far. A third factor must come in, and that is exercise. To maintain a child’s health, they also need to get a good amount of exercise in order to strengthen their bones, muscles, and body systems. Exercise is one of the best ways to boost a child’s good health.

As a parent, you know that your child is getting enough good food that provides proper nutrition and enough exercise to keep them in good health through their behavior. The health and nutrition of children can come out in how they play, their general mood, and their physical appearance. Having a happy child who plays often, does well in school, and looks healthy with rosy cheeks and all is probably a child that is getting the proper nutrition and is absolutely healthy!

Important Health and Nutrition Information for Aging

Nutrition has a lot to do with aging. Problems with nutrition as people age increase as chronic diseases and impaired organ function damage digestive functions, along with the processing of nutrients. Food may not be absorbed, metabolized, or excreted properly, and the nutrients in the food won’t be absorbed. It is estimated that 80% of senior citizens have a chronic disease. Nutrition can prevent chronic disease and help people recuperate from it.

One factor misunderstood in nutrition is that caloric demands change as we age. We have a higher percentage of body fat, and less lean muscle. The decreased activity that often accompanies aging decreases the calories burned. You have to figure out how to keep up the nutrition while decreasing the calories. To do this, you choose foods that are heavy in nutrients. Protein, for instance, is necessary at all ages, even though it may change because of restrictions.

It’s pretty east to reduce the overall fat intake as we age, and getting no more than 30% of our daily caloric intake is fat. Carbohydrates should, ideally, be about 60% of the calories we consume, with most of those being complex. We also become more tolerant to glucose as we age, and we need to eat fewer refined carbohydrates to ease the stress on our systems. We also need more dietary fiber and plenty of water to maintain the good bowel function. Fiber also helps to keep inflammation down in the intestines. Dietary fiber comes from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes.

One of the most essential considerations is the intake of water. Enough water will help your kidneys function better. Recommendations are for 5 to 8 glasses a day. Often as people age they don’t realize they’re thirsty. They become dehydrated. You should drink before you begin to feel thirsty. Elderly people should have plenty of fluid included in their diets.

Also with age people lose their sense of taste and smell. Often, the only thing an elderly person can taste salt and sugar, and they don’t want food they can’t taste. Also, as people age, they may lose their vision and have impaired cooking. You may not know how to read the prices on food or nutrition labels. You may even forget how to cook, or be afraid to. While these may not be complete losses, they can affect your ability to maintain a healthy diet.

As we age, we also have a change in our needs for electrolytes, potassium, and sodium. These can be affected by the drugs we take for heart problems and other chronic diseases. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, but older people often have a deficit in this. You may get a vitamin D deficiency since you don’t take as many dairy products, or get vitamin A toxicity. So, maintain a wide selection of items in your diet, especially of foods with a lot of calcium in them.

Choosing the Right Food for Health and Nutrition

Great health is only achievable by eating the right food for nutrition. It is apparent that everyone desires to feel great, energetic, and prevent common infections. However, without the right nutrition basics this is hardly achievable. Meal planning also enables someone to avoid junk food and encourages a consistent healthy diet.

Health and nutrition tips

Planning a healthy diet is the first step to nutritious eating. One cannot easily do this on the go; it takes discipline and small manageable steps. Start by thinking of the diet in terms of color rather than being overly concerned about the amount of calories intake. Fruits and vegetables are very colorful and useful in many recipes making the food more appetizing and palatable. These are the foundation of healthy eating and constitute highly required minerals vitamins and antioxidants

Nutrition improvement begins by making slow changes in one’s eating habits and over time, getting accustomed to eating healthy. These can include measures liking switching from conventional butter to cooking with olive oil. Another very important ingredient in a diet is the use of water and exercise. Water flushes out waste from the system while exercise helps in improving metabolism and increased blood flow to the whole body.

It is important to eat a balanced diet that always includes proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fat for sustainable health and nutrition. One does not have to think of some food as being off limits, however all food should be eaten in moderation and in the right quantities. What one needs to do if they have been eating unhealthy foods, for example salty and sugary foods, is to start reducing the intake slowly. The body gradually adjusts to the new alternative and soon eating healthy becomes a habit.

Starting the day with breakfast, followed by small frequent meals for the rest of the day, is energizing and increases metabolism. Whenever one has the opportunity, they should buy fresh produce from local farmers.

Healthy carbohydrates and whole grains for good nutrition

Carbohydrates and fiber rich foods for nutrition are very important as they give us energy to go through the day. These are available in whole grains and are rich in antioxidants and phyotochemicals, which are helpful in protecting against coronary heart diseases, diabetes and some forms of cancer. They digest more slowly keeping one feeling fuller for longer while keeping insulin and blood sugar levels at a healthy low. However, one needs to differentiate between the good and unhealthy carbohydrates. The good carbohydrates constitute of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, while unhealthy carbohydrates constitute refined sugars and flour.

Planning quick and easy meals ahead

Healthy nutrition begins with prior planning which begins with a well-stocked kitchen and quick and easy recipes. One can begin by picking a few favorite recipes and schedule weekly meals while using leftovers for other days. Preparing one’s own food is less expensive and healthy. When one goes shopping, shop around the stores perimeter. One is most likely to find healthy ingredients here. Whenever possible, cook over the weekend and freeze the left overs for use during the rest of the week, this goes a long way in improving health and nutrition.

Important Health and Nutrition Guidelines

If you purchase organic fruits and organic vegetables you are buying vegetables in which pesticides have not been used. If you are not able to purchase organic fruits and vegetables and have to rely solely on regular fruits and vegetables, supplements should be considered using along with your diet. An example of a supplement is garlic which has long been valued for its health properties.

Garlic will help in preventing and reducing high blood pressure. There are many vitamins on the market today. When you purchase vitamins and minerals, make sure that there are no additives such as sugar food coloring, yeast, corn, sugar, salt, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors added.

Health and nutrition is very important when deciding what will be the best diet for you. One of the best diets around to be on is a vegan diet.

A vegan diet is entirely free of animal products. No meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, or honey. Adequate protein depends on careful balance of nuts, beans, peas, grains, and seeds. On a vegan diet you will need to ensure that you work on getting enough vitamin D 12 and folate especially during pregnancy.

Another great diet to consider is the raw food diet. The raw food diet includes 70% raw fruit and vegetables and 30% nuts, grains, some dairy products and meat. The enzyme activity of uncooked food is said to benefit the digestive system and promote well-being. The role of this diet is to help prevent such conditions as heart disease and cancer. The importance of vitamins and minerals supplements along with a good healthy diet helps to maintain your health. If you are taking medication always check with your physician before beginning a course on taking nutritional supplements.

These supplements may react with or contrary to some prescribed drugs. Do not take high doses of vitamins and minerals without consulting a properly trained nutritionist. Excessive supplementation can have adverse effects on some people.