NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF FAMILY MEMBERS
Every family member has different needs and requirement for food according to
- Their age and sex
- Their health condition
- Their daily activities
- The climate in which they live
- Their likes and dislikes
- Food customs and taboos
Special considerations must be observed when preparing meals for different groups of people based on their need and requirement for food.
The different groups covers infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and adults with special
needs such as the manual workers, pregnant women, the elderly, invalid, convalescents, vegetarians, the overweight and the underweight.
INFANCY AND CHILDREN
Infancy covers the period from birth to one year. It is a period of rapid growth. This is the stage at which infants are more susceptible to infections and therefore needs food to develop effective antibodies. Initially human milk or infant formula supplies needed nutrients till six months.
After six months, infants should be introduced to nutritious solid food such as pap made from millet, maize, guinea corn enriched with soya beans, milk, grinded crayfish. Fruits and vegetables should also be given.
The infants need-
- Adequate amount of energy food to be able to meet their demand and to conserve proteins for growth
- Adequate calcium, phosphorus and magnesium for good bone development
- Adequate amount of protective nutrients eg Vitamin C for body protection and Vitamin A for good sight
- Vitamins B12, folic acid and iron for blood synthesis
- B-complex vitamins eg Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12
- Adequate amount of water to enhance digestion and excretion of waste products
- Adequate protein for growth
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