Eating habits are acquired in the family environment, begin to form from birth and develop in childhood and, particularly, in adolescence, determined by the habits of parents.
Imitation learning occurs not only in the home but also in the elderly, in the case of children and, with friends, a group or leader in adolescents. The nutritional habits acquired in childhood are modified very little in the later years so that the individual eating habits in the majority of elderly people are practically the same as those acquired in the early stages of life.
Adolescence is associated with a multitude of changes in the personal lifestyle and it is expected that there are also in the preference of food and in eating habits. Adolescent behavior is determined by numerous external factors (family characteristics, friendships, social and cultural values, social media, nutritional knowledge, personal experiences and beliefs, etc.), and internal factors (physiological characteristics and needs, body image, Preferences and aversions in matters of food, psychosocial development, health, etc.).
It is nowadays seen as differential facts that the eating behaviors of adolescents often go through the so-called snacks or snacks and fast food, also called junk food.
It has been observed in a large study that, in general, energy intake in children adapts to the recommendations established for these ages, although in some cases they are slightly higher. It has also been found that there was an imbalance in the nutritional composition of food, so that the energy intake in the form of fats was higher than the recommended values. The proportion of energy supplied in the form of proteins is also higher than the recommended, while that of carbohydrates is very insufficient.
Children from 7 to 10 years
Several studies have shown similar intakes to recommendations, while others report that they are superior. As for the proteins, a contribution is appreciated well above the recommended values. Fats are over-consumed while the energy provided by carbohydrates is less than recommended.
It has been verified that the energetic intake of adolescents is slightly inferior to the recommendations, with imbalance in the contribution of nutrients. The energy provided by carbohydrates is much lower than the recommendations. Energy from fats and proteins is well above recommendations.
How it seems to be … Newborn feeding
Maternal breastfeeding has long been the usual form of parenting. However, in recent years, many women have abandoned this practice because of the significant social changes in our society and, above all, the incorporation of women into the labor market. The benefits of breastfeeding are fully demonstrated for the newborn to achieve normal growth and development.
When breastfeeding is not possible for medical or other reasons, we will resort to artificial breastfeeding. It is important in these cases to avoid behaviors that penalize the decision of the mother, since the nutritional requirements of the child will be adequately satisfied with the new artificial milks.
It has also been used the so-called mixed breastfeeding, i.e. the combination of breastfeeding and artificial, although this seems not a very adequate solution.
Feeding children up to 3 years old
In the period from birth to 3 years of age, food plays a key role in the child’s development as most of their systems and organs mature during this time.
All anomalies that appear in the organism due to poor nutrition during these years will be irreversible in the future.
The infant should progressively learn to eat, to handle semi-liquid foods and, later, solid foods. This learning is part of its development and will allow you to chew, taste and familiarize yourself and identify the odors and textures of foods that adults eat, as well as manipulate, swallow and assimilate them.
As we have seen, from birth to 4-6 months of life, the child is only able to suck and swallow liquids, so it feeds basically on milk, well from the mother, or artificial. Later, from that age until approximately the year of life, complementary food is introduced to meet the energy and nutrient demands of a rapidly growing organism. It emphasizes in this stage the introduction of the semisolid foods for which the child practices and learns to chew.
From the year of life up to age 3, the child progressively joins the menu that the family eats, conditioned for their age. Initially he plays with food and, later, wants to eat alone. He often shows interest in his seniors’ food and asks for them, even after he has finished his meal.
Feeding of preschool and school children
The patterns or eating habits of these children are gradually being established, largely learned and imitated by their parents, hence the importance of adequate nutritional education by them and the adoption of healthy dietary habits.
It is necessary to establish in the child early dietary habits that ensure a rich, varied and balanced intake of foods of different textures, colors, flavors and components, which allow adequate nutrition and growth while allowing gradual acquisition of preferences Food and culinary industries and adequate selection capacity.
In preschool children, milk and its by-products are star foods, followed by fruits, vegetables, potatoes, cereals, sugar, meat and fish. Schoolchildren consume plenty of milk and dairy products, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, cereals, meats and dairy products, fish, eggs and sugar.
At these ages the first meal of the day, that is breakfast, begins to worry, since many children do not eat breakfast properly or do not even do it.
At this stage of the life cycle, the energy and nutrient needs are rapidly increased due to the intense growth and development and the high physical and intellectual activity of these young people.
It is important to keep in mind the psychological changes experienced by adolescents as they are, in most cases, those who control their own diet and, if not addressed in a good way, can lead to the acquisition of inappropriate eating habits and Even harmful to health (obesity, elevated blood fats, sugar or diabetes, even some cancers closely related to food such as colon).
Many experts consider this stage to be especially vulnerable from the point of view of nutrition. Again at this stage we should pay special attention to breakfast because it is the food of the day that less interest arouses in adolescents. Many of them do not eat breakfast or do it quickly and badly both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Another threat that looms over our teens and begins to create real health problems is the so-called fast food or snacks, which young people consume with their friends in specific places. Many of these foods have ended up being called the vulgar and derogatory term of junk foods because they do not properly feed the person who takes them and often end up being harmful and harmful to health.
In any case, it is important to consider that sporadic or occasional consumption of this type of food or food does not cause any nutritional damage if the rest of the diet is balanced.