A healthy diet for children should be composed of 3 meals a day and a snack covering the right amount of calories for a full day and containing the following elements:
* 30% of carbohydrates (Starchy) foods such as potatoes, yarns or plantain and (preferably wholemeal when the children digestive system is mature enough) grain like rice, wheat, oats, barley etc…or some pulses. This food group offers a sustained energy level as well as calcium, iron and vitamin B. * At least 5 helpings of fruit or vegetable in raw, cooked, tinned dried or frozen form but limiting fruit juices to one serving only as they lack sufficient fibre. These are a great source of vitamins and minerals. * 2 or 3 servings of milk or dairy product which contain calcium, protein and vitamin a and B12 * 2 or 3 serving of proteins such as fish , eggs, pulses or meat (consideration should be taken that meat products contain more fat than other products in this group) * Little consumption of fat and sugary foods or drinks (biscuits, sweets, soda, fried food, oil etc…)the use of unsaturated fat is preferable to that of saturated fat which have been associated with diabetes, high cholesterol and heart diseases * Water to be drunk regularly throughout the day.
The American Heart Foundation recommends that children shouldn’t be overfed as “ they can usually self-regulate the amount of calories they need each day. Children shouldn't be forced to finish meals if they aren't hungry as they often vary caloric intake from meal to meal.”
1.2 Describe examples of healthy meals and snacks for children and young people
Healthy meals must be balanced and offer the full range of food groups as recommended by the “eat well” plate. Children will often refuse to eat plain vegetables and it can help to “hide” them in stir-fries, sauces, casseroles or even desserts (our Council currently offers a chocolate cake containing beetroot which is quite popular with the children).
Here are examples of a full day’s meals for a regular diet and a vegetarian diet. Breakfast| Lunch| Snack| Dinner|
Porridge with fruit topping and a glass of orange juice| CucumberJacket potato with cheese and baked beansFruit saladwater| Apple, glass of milk| ColeslawBohemian chicken (tomatoes peppers and fennel)with rice and peas Strawberry jellywater| Wholemeal toast with jam and a glass of milk| Grated carrotsMacaroni cheeseBaked applewater| Pistachios, glass of orange juice| Tomato saladMushroom omelette with broccoli and mashed carrots and suedeRice puddingWater|
1.3 Describe how culture, religion and health conditions impact on food choices
The children’s diets can be greatly influenced by health conditions, cultural or religious choices and care should be taken to provide healthy alternatives to keep every child’s diet a healthy one.
Reason| name| restriction| How to keep the diet balanced| Health| Food intolerance| Children can be intolerant to certain food (one of the most common one is cow’s milk) which can cause stomach pain and diarrhoea and other long –term symptoms| In the case of dairy intolerance, care must be taken to offer other sources of calcium (nuts, dark leafy vegetables, edible seaweeds)| | Food allergies| This can be a life threatening condition if the child suffers an anaphylactic shock. Common allergies are eggs, nuts and seafood. | | | Coeliac disease| Children with coeliac disease must have a gluten- free diet or risk, diarrhoea, tiredness and poor growth| Carbohydrates must be offered in beans, rice or potato. Some gluten-free products are also widely available| | Diabetes| Children with diabetes do not produce insulin. | The diet must be balanced and include additional snack to keep blood glucose levels steady.| Religious| Hindu| Strict Hindus are vegetarians. Others do not eat beef or dairy...