A healthy and balanced nutrition in childhood is important. As well as, at all stages of life. In particular, adopting a healthy and balanced lifestyle is especially important throughout childhood. The nutrition of children should consist of a variety of foods from all food groups. In order to provide all the necessary nutrients for their normal physical, mental and psychosocial development. Younger children, who have got an immature immune system are more prone to infections and micronutrient deficiencies. Vitamins, minerals and trace elements. A healthy, balanced and adequate nutrition in the first years of life, in which the growth rate is fast, can prevent any deficiencies. In addition, it can ensure the maximum physical and psychosocial development of children.
Meanwhile, the adoption of a healthy and balanced nutrition is especially important during adolescence as well. As it’s associated with a reduced incidence of obesity, caries and iron deficiency-anemia. In addition, it contributes to the prevention of chronic diseases in adulthood. Such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Also, to the greater ease of adopting a healthy nutrition in adulthood.
Childhood is the most suitable period to adopt healthy eating habits. As the way of eating, life and behavior of children is actually formi at this age. Family, school, social environment and friends are important factors in shaping these healthy habits and an overall healthy lifestyle.
It’s therefore recommended, from childhood, to adopt a “Mediterranean” type of diet. With consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Low-processed cereals, legumes and nuts. Moderate consumption of dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese). Weekly consumption of fish and spinach. Rare consumption of red meat (beef, pork, lamb, goat) and sweets. Last, daily exclusive use of olive oil, as the main source of fat.
Meanwhile, with the adoption of the “Mediterranean Diet”, regular physical activity would be good to combine. Whether it’s organized, such as in groups, gyms, athletic clubs or unorganized. Such as walking, running, cycling, playing with friends, using the stairs instead of the elevator. Helping with household chores, as well as, limiting the use of screen to less than 2 hours per day.
In conclusion, it’s important to keep in mind the followings. That the adoption of the “Mediterranean Diet”, along with daily physical activity. The reduction of screen exposure and adequate sleep, can help to achieve the maximum physical and mental development of children. Also, prevent the occurrence of chronic diseases in future.
Do not forget:
A HEALTHY AND BALANCED NUTRITION IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE IS IMPORTANT
HEALTHY NUTRITIONAL CHOICES AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AS A CHILD =
HEALTHY NUTRIOTIONAL CHOICES AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AS AN ADULT!
Alexandra Karachaliou, MSc, PhDc
Clinical Dietitian – Nutritionist
PhD Candidate, Harokopio University of Athens