At every age its nutrition

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Nutrition advice should be adapted to each stage of life. The education to a balanced diet is done from childhood.

what is human nutrition


Infant feeding

During the first 4 months, the food is exclusively breast milk (the only complete food perfectly adapted to the infant) or formula. Between the 4th and 9th month, the diet gradually diversifies. From the 10th month, the child can gradually share family meals.

Accompanying the growth of the child

The child should eat a variety of foods. Each food group must be present at least once a day. This is the time to promote the awakening of taste with a balanced diet.

Avoid excess, limit sugary drinks, and especially snacking outside of meals (chips, cheese, cookies, or other sweets). These are the main causes of overweight in children.

The regularity of the meals is essential: good habits, like bad ones, are taken during childhood.

Adolescence: a period of growth and great activity

Adolescents' diets should meet the needs of growth and the intensity of physical activity. This is the time to promote a healthy diet and to make a special place for dairy products, fruits, and vegetables!

The National Nutrition and Health Program, launched in 2001 by the French government, recommends improving intakes for children and adolescents:

  • Iron (meats, cereals, fruits, and vegetables),
  • In calcium (milk and dairy products),
  • In vitamin D (fatty fish, dairy products, eggs).

Nb: the body manufactures vitamin D mainly by the action of the sun on the skin. Physical activity in the open air is therefore to be favored.

Adults: balance is a source of well-being

To feel good about your body as you get older, there are a few simple tips to follow in addition to regular physical activity:

  • consume 5 fruits and vegetables per day,
  • limit the consumption of fats, especially saturated fats (pastries, cakes, sausages, butter, sauces, cheese, whole milk ...),
  • Increase consumption of slow sugars (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, legumes),
  • consume meat, fish, other seafood or eggs once or twice a day, favoring lean meat and fish consumption,
  • limit the consumption of pastries, sweets, sweetened drinks,
  • limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages to 2 glasses of 10 cl wine per day for women and 3 glasses for men. Water is the only essential drink (1.5 liters per day).

Seniors: a balance to be maintained

Food consumption tends to decrease gradually with age. Care must therefore be taken to avoid the risk of undernutrition, which could lead to a decrease in the immune system and the appearance or aggravation of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, dementia, or cancer. Age alters taste and smell, reduces the feeling of hunger and thirst, and alters all digestive functions, within particular a decrease in glucose tolerance, which is the cause of the frequent development of diabetes in the elderly.

  • Satisfy vitamin D and calcium requirements, necessary for bone mineralization,
  • Ensure the quality of the lipids ingested by favoring rapeseed oil and fatty fish (to promote cardiac elasticity),
  • Ensure hydration (on average 1.5 liters of water per day). Indeed, age reduces the sensation of heat and the body regulates the body temperature with greater difficulty. In the event of great heat, it is thus strongly advised to drink even without being thirsty.

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