Food sustains life, and every living being needs to eat. However,this is not all to the logic of food. What, when and how much to eat are three essential questions whose answers must be met if merely sustenance is not the goal, rather it is to let life thrive. Although every person has his/her own dietary requirements, a general diet can be charted out based on one’s age. As one makes the transition from childhood to adulthood and then enters the elderly phase, he has to alter his diet to meet the demands of his age.
Given below is a general overview to provide your an idea of how nutritional requirements for adults, children and elderly differ:
For a newborn baby, their overall nutritional needs are met by breast milk. This is known as the ‘total food’ which is recommended to to continue all through the first year of the infant’s life (even when introduction of solid food has happened). This is because during the first 12 months a baby requires almost 3 times more the energy, protein and 4 times more vitamins, iron and calcium to promote the rapid growth.
The toddler phase too demands a great input of healthy nutrients in the child’s body to help them grow. Proportional to their boy mass, the require double the energy as those of adults. They may require 80% more energy than adults, proteins should constitute a major part of their meals. Also, having a diet rich in Vitamin C is especially important.
For adults, in general from the age of 19-50, the dietary needs remains much the same, exceptions being at the time of pregnancy etc. The diet of adults become the referral point and is so known to be the ‘typical’ diet. However, this typical diet can greatly vary for men and women and also of the same sex, based on their occupational needs, height, weight etc.
Old age is a dreadful phase to enter, as perceived by many, and still gracefully embraced by others. The elderly, however, need to be the most cautious to take care of their diet in order to keep on their own. The energy demands quite naturally reduce, as physical activity reduces. This leads to them eating less, which is OK if their Vitamin C and calcium intake (required in higher amounts now) is not compromised. Taking food supplements could also be a good option.
Besides, these broad life stages, nutritional requirements greatly depend on an individual’s lifestyle,vocation, medical condition and definitely their gender. A sports person on an endurance weight training program can not possibly have exactly the same diet as that of an entrepreneur of the same age; a lactating woman will be requiring different amounts different of nutrients as compared to a belle dancer and so on. So, even though your age can provide you with a broad outline of what your diet should be like, to attain ultimate fitness and health, one needs to consult a nutritionist to have their personal nutrition requirements discussed.