Nutrition is a part of science that studies, as well as analyzes and interprets, the relational effect of nutrient in food and other food substances to the growth, life and health maintenance, reproduction, and diseases of people and also of living organisms. The study includes such processes of food digestion, absorption and assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion.
The term diet is all about the regular staple of food that a person takes in relation to its availability, food preparation, and palatability. To have a healthy diet, food must be well-stored and properly prepared and cooked so that the food nutrients are preserved and are kept from being oxidized or from being spoiled from heat or leaching or from food poisoning. Nutrients are composed of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and amino acids, and vitamins, as well as water, oxygen, and minerals.
As we age, our dietary needs will also change and this interaction of our dietary needs with age will continue throughout the life phases, such that the food nutrients undergo a rational adjustment as we grow older. The dietary changes are not only due to our changing age but can be due to economic, psychological, and social factors.
For the first six months of a baby’s life, nutritionists strongly recommend that mothers must breastfeed their babies since breast milk is complete and full of nutrients and has antibodies which the infants need. A combination of solid food and breast milk should be fed to the baby after six months.
The dietary nutrition for the pre-school age group considers the following food combination – carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy foods, protein and good quality fats, as well as vitamins A, C, calcium, iron and zinc.
As the child reaches school age which is until the teen years, this necessitates the proper feeding of a healthy, balanced diet of nutrients to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet packed full of nutrients including calcium, iron and protein with vitamin supplements is recommended for this age group, which must be contained in the three full meals everyday.
When we reach the age of adulthood, our growth and development slows down and, therefore, our main focus then would be how to maintain a physically active life with a proper balance of adult form of nutrition. At this age level, we should still strive to have three full meals but the proportions of food will have to be reduced in portions and snack foods must be on whole grain toast and fruit diet. Normally, most adults eat in small portions than they use to when they were young, so it is best to prepare and cook large meals and freeze the rest of the foods until the next meal.
It is indeed constraining when we reach the elderly stage as continued changes in our bodies are happening, slowing down are appetite for food and limiting our mobility, and, with that, the buying and preparing of good food is also restricted. It would be ideal if pre-cooked meals with nutritional value and with longer shelf-life can be bought, so that small portions can be heated as the need arises.
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