Define the basic nutritional requirements of children and young people to ensure a balanced diet and meet government guidance
The Government recommends that all healthy individuals should consume a diet that contains: •Plenty of starchy foods such as rice, bread, pasta and potatoes •Plenty of fruit and vegetables; at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day •Moderate amounts of protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and alternatives such as nuts and pulses •Moderate amounts of milk and dairy foods
•Less saturated fat, salt and sugar
Children under the age of 5 who are not good eaters may need to take a supplement containing vitamins A, D and C. Children who have a good appetite and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruit and vegetables, might not need to take vitamin drops.
Recommendations for protein, vitamins and minerals vary by age. Where different intakes for males and females are recommended, the higher value is identified in the table to ensure that the greatest need of the group is met:
Nutrient1-3 Years4-6 Years7-10 Years11-14 Years15-18 Years Protein15g20g28g42g55g
Carbohydrates- Carbohydrates are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet. They make up around one third of everything that we eat and they contain starch, fibre, iron and B vitamins. Types of Carbohydrates include: potatoes, rice and grains, bread, pasta, and
Fruit and Vegetables- Fruit and vegetables are a vital source of vitamins and minerals. It is advised that we eat 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. There is evidence that people who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day are at lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
Dairy Food- Dairy foods are a good source of protein and calcium. Fats in milk provide calories for young children and essential vitamins such as vitamin B2 and B12. However, most of the fat in dairy foods is saturated fats. For older children and adults, eating too much saturated fat can contribute to becoming overweight.
Protein- Protein is essential for growth and repair of the body. Protein is also a good source of a range of vitamins and mineral. Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals; it is also one of the main sources of vitamin B12. Fish is another source of protein, it is rich is Omega-3 fatty acids.
Fats and Sugars- Fat and sugar are both sources of energy for the body, but if too much of this food group is consumed, the body is consuming more energy than it is burning, which leads to an increased body weight. This can lead to obesity, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.