Children require enough proteins for the growth and development of body tissues. Inadequate of proteins can lead to stunted growth.
Minerals like calcium are necessary for the formation of strong bones and teeth. Zinc is important for body growth.
The zinc resources in the body can be depleted by vigorous physical exercise.
Vitamin B 12 is required for the formation of red blood cells. Because a growing baby needs more oxygen and more blood) for growth while vitamin C helps children to build their immunity.
Children also require more energy –giving foods because they are active than the adult.
2. The elders.
Elderly people require less energy –giving foods because they are generally less active than young people.
This group should eat food that is rich in fibre in order to reduce constipation and bowel problems that come with age.
They also need minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium. Iron is necessary because anaemia is a frequent problem in older age; zinc is required for a healthy immune system and to increase the rate of healing of wounds.
Old age comes with the loss of calcium from bones leading to soft and weak bones that can break easily.
Old people, therefore, require adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D to counter the loss.
The elder often has problems of chewing tough foods because of weakened teeth and swallowing because of the decreased production of saliva. It is therefore important to ensure they get food that is nutritious as well as easy to chew and swallow. For example, they can get proteins from eggs or liver instead of meat.