La alimentación ideal para los niños

Written by: Dra. María José De Ibarrondo y Guerricaechevarría
Edited by: Anna Raventós Rodríguez

It is clear that children are the adults of the future, which is why laying the foundations of good nutrition in childhood will mean healthier adults in the new generations. This can be achieved by two ways one by a healthy and well-nourished child forges the base of a healthy adult and also because a child educated in good nutritional habits is accompanied by a person educated on the basis of good habits and habits of life helping Create an adult with a healthy behavior that will be able to transmit their good habits to the following generations.


The ideal diet in childhood is a varied and complete balanced diet, so that it provides the necessary nutrients for the development and growth of children.


The much commented "Mediterranean diet" is very healthy because it is rich in highly recommended basic foods such as olive oil, vegetables, fruits, vegetables, as well as fish, meats or sausages such as Iberian ham.


  • Are there foods that help boost memory?

There is really no known specific food that improves memory. The truth is that there are nutrients that are consumed in neuronal activity and that its deficit is manifested by memory disorders, as is the case of iron deficiency anemia, whose symptoms include fatigue and memory failures, among others.. Other minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and unsaturated fatty acids also influence memory. All these nutrients can be found in cereals, red and green vegetables, and in dry furos.


  • Food for children, which help increase stamina and energy?

The foods considered as plastics or energy are proteins. Eggs are the most complete food in vitamins, minerals and energy nutrients. Fish is also a good source of healthy and recommended proteins in the diet, but usually the most used sources are meat, milk and its derivatives.


The ideal diet in childhood is a varied and complete balanced diet


An important and recommended feature of the Mediterranean diet is the contribution of vegetable proteins with legumes, a great source of energy with proteins, minerals and fiber.


  • How does diet influence the development of creativity?


Creativity is developed through the education of children but can be stimulated with food if they are taught to use their imagination both when preparing a recipe, combining foods with different flavors, textures, colors; as in the moment of the presentation of the elaborated dish, making it more interesting and attractive to the eye, making drawings and funny figures for them.


  • Healthy breakfast for children, what should they include?


It has been shown in scientific studies that breakfast is one of the main meals of the day and should contain between 25 and 35% of the daily nutritional intake. There is evidence that an adequate breakfast contributes to the improvement of school performance. To make breakfast healthy, you need several types of basic nutrients, such as carbohydrates, which provide fruits (better natural and fresh than packaged juice), and cereals (better if they are comprehensive and varied).


Another basic is plastic foods with protein, such as milk and its derivatives (yogurt and fresh cheeses, which can be cow's milk, soy, vegetable or hydrolyzed). If you want to make a more consistent breakfast, you can add the egg as a complete nutritional contribution.


  • The snack snack is a breakfast supplement? What is ideal to take to school?


The morning snack sandwich serves to complete the breakfast. There are children who have a bad breakfast because they are slow to start up or they are overwhelmed by having breakfast in a hurry or under pressure, there are even some who get up without appetite. Reason why the sandwich in the morning can help a lot of children who have these problems. They could take more varied foods, such as milk derivatives, natural juices, fruits or cereal bars. The type of breakfast supplement depends on the lunch schedule, the physical activity it develops, the time of year and the ages of the children.


  • And the snack, do we give it the importance it has? Should it vary depending on whether or not children do extracurricular activities?


The snack is more important than it seems, it would almost be more advisable strong snack dinner and then a light dinner. It is recommended that the snack provide 15 to 20% of the total caloric value of the diet of the day. Keep in mind that lunch during school hours is quite early and if they have not eaten very well at school lunch, they leave school with a lot of appetite.. This is the time to take advantage to provide the nutrients that may have failed throughout the day. A good bread sandwich with tomato and ham, cheese with anchovies, bonito with tomato, fresh cheese creams with olives, and some fruit can be a great snack, always better than industrial bollerias.


The snack is more important than it seems


  • Differences between the nutritional needs of children, adolescents and adults.

Nutritional needs are usually measured in calories per day. A child depending on age may need 1200 to 1800 kcal / day. The adolescent who is in full growth and develops greater physical activity usually needs, depending on whether male or female, around 1800 - 3000 kcal / day. In contrast, for adults who make a more sedentary life and need less caloric intake, it is also variable with sex and age. It is calculated as advisable a diet 1800 to 3000 kcal / day. It is always considered that the diet must be individualized for each case.


  • Most common mistakes in infant feeding


The most common mistake is the use of so - called junk food, because they do not provide any beneficial nutrients and calories are empty. These are found in sweetened beverages such as soft drinks or juices, industrial pastries, snacks and industrial fried foods, as well as in foods that contain flavorings and preservatives.. These types of foods are discouraged in both children and adults.



Another frequent error in our environment is the diet with excess protein, when what should abound are fruits and vegetables.


  • Do children and teenagers drink enough water?


The daily needs of liquids in the child are over the liter of water per day, in the adolescent and adult the need is around 1'5 to 2 liters per day. The contribution of liquids and water also come through the water content of the food.


The recommended amount of water per day is 75% of the total fluid intake of the day. Because of this, it is advisable to eat with water and after sports and with increased physical activity, or if it is very hot you have to give a supplementary supply of water, including water with ions such as the one provided by the serums or Isotonic drinks.


  • What foods should we exclude from the children's diet?


In the diets for children and adolescents we must exclude alcohol and the exciting. Another type of food that we should try to avoid in the diets are junk foods with empty calories and unhealthy preservatives or savoring. That alerts them the appetite and favors obesity.


  • What exactly is meant by ration?


A ration is a portion of food or a nutrient that varies according to the objective to be met in the diet. For example, the recommended ration of meat or fish in the diet of a child of 1 to 2 years is 50 to 75 grams daily, and in the adolescent the recommended ration would be 120 to 150 grams daily.


Today in schools teach "Eat healthy" and an easy way to make it understand is with the "Rule of 5 rations". This is that the recommendation in fruit and vegetables in a healthy diet is 5 servings a day, divided in two ways: 3 servings of fruit and 2 of vegetables or the alternative of 2 fruit and 3 vegetables a day. In this case a portion of fruit is a piece such as an apple or a banana and the daily ration of heavy raw vegetables is 150 to 200 grams, which can be distributed and taken in salads, as a main dish, in creams or soups or as a side dish.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. María José De Ibarrondo y Guerricaechevarría

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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