Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Growing needs

Babies and toddlers have a high proportion of body fat which begins to decrease once they reach about five. During adolescence the fat increases again – by the end of adolescence boys have lost some of that fat, but girls retain it for the rest of their lives. Isn’t this a good reason to teach your children healthy eating habits from an early age?

Another interesting fact is that, during puberty, girls double their muscle mass, while boys triple theirs! This is the reason men and boys require a greater number of kilojoules/calories per day than women and girls. And now you know why your teenage sons have voracious appetites and seem to eat you out of house and home.

Infancy and adolescence are both times of accelerated growth, so there is a greater need for calcium and iron (particularly for girls). We all think of calcium as coming from dairy products, and yes, it does. But dairy is not the only source – seafood, green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, soybeans, oatmeal, meat and fish all supply bio-available calcium. And for iron, eat eggs, whole grains, broccoli, spinach, raisins, dates, figs, prunes and apricots.

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