What Should My Child Be Eating?
So it’s pretty well publicised that women should consume 2000 kcal, on average, a day, and men 2500 kcal. But what about our children, do the same rules apply?
According to the Department of Health there is no single requirement for children aged 5- 10 years old, in fact, dietary requirements not only differ between boys and girls but also within the ages 4-6 and 7-10.
Children Aged 4- 6 Years Old
Macronutrient’s take up three components within the diet; protein, fat and carbohydrates. From the ages of 4 to 6 it is recommended that girls consume an average of 1545kcal, and boys 1715kcal. Of the recommended calories, it is suggested that 35% should come from fat, with less than 11% being saturated, 50% should be carbohydrates and approximately of 19.7g from protein a day.
Currently in the UK there is no dietary reference value for fibre in children, for adults the recommendation stands at 19g/day, based on European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidelines. Fibre is not essential but it does provide several benefits for the digestive system, regulating bowel movements and has also been strongly associated to a lower incidence of bowel cancer and coronary heart disease.
A micronutrient is a vitamin or mineral needed within the body in minuscule amounts. In terms of vitamins, children aged 4-6 should be consuming around 500µg of vitamin A, 30mg of vitamin C and within the 8 different vitamin B complexes: 100µg of folate, 0.7mg of thiamine, 0.8g of riboflavin, 11mg of niacin, 0.9mg of vitamin B6 and 0.8µg of vitamin B12. It is also essential that children get around 900mg of omega 3; the fatty acid responsible for cognitive development. Dietary sources of omega 3 include oily fish, nuts and seeds. Alternatively, you give your little one their daily dose of omega 3 and multi vitamins in a handy mini pack that looks distinctly like sweets!