Outline the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet for children and young people. While low-fat diets are recommended for older children and adults, under-fives need diets that contain good amounts of fat. This fat should come from foods that contain plenty of other nutrients like meat, oily fish and full-fat milk (semi-skimmed milk is unsuitable for children under the age of two, and skimmed unsuitable for under-fives), rather than from high-fat foods that contain few vitamins and minerals like cakes, biscuits and chocolate. Meanwhile, young children shouldn’t eat too many fibre-rich foods, either, as these may fill them up so much they can’t eat enough to provide them with adequate calories and nutrients. However, as kids approach school age, they should gradually move towards a diet that’s lower in fat and higher in fibre. And by the age of five, their diet should be low in fat, sugar and salt and high in fibre with five fruit and veg a day – just like adults. Fortunately, whatever their age, children can easily get a balanced diet – and lower their risk of becoming overweight or obese by eating a variety of foods from four main food groups: •
Bread, other cereals and potatoes – these starchy foods, which also include pasta and rice, provide energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals •
Fruit and vegetables – these provide fibre, vitamins and minerals and are a source of antioxidants. •
Milk and dairy foods – these provide calcium for healthy bones and teeth, protein for growth, plus vitamins and minerals. •
Meat, fish and alternatives – these foods, which include eggs and pulses, provide protein and vitamins Foods from a fifth food group that includes fatty and sugary foods like biscuits, cakes, fizzy drinks, chocolate, sweets, crisps and pastries, that add little nutritional value, should be limited according to Meggitt ‘A healthy diet should also be based on a variety of foods, with the emphasis on reducing intake of foods that are higher in fat and sugar...
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