Contributed by: Anjali Sharma

Introduction

India observes National Nutrition Week from September 1 to September 7 every year to raise awareness about the importance of consuming nutritious foods and healthy eating habits.

The Government of India launches this program in the first week of September every year.

Maintaining a healthy weight also protects against non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular problems.

As we age, our body’s nutritional needs change. Therefore, it is very important to consider which foods are truly nutritious for you based on your age.

Theme of National Nutrition Week

This year’s theme is Celebrate a “A world of taste

Every year, the government presents a unique topic as part of National Nutrition Week that primarily focuses on that year’s topic. Last year’s theme was “Smart feeding from the startThe government had already promised.

Significance of National Nutrition Week 2022

The goal of National Nutrition Week is to educate people about healthy, nutritious foods.

To raise awareness about this fundamental phenomenon, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India organizes a week-long celebration of National Nutrition Week every year.

Emphasis is placed on the importance and function of a healthy diet in the human body. A diet rich in critical nutrients is essential for optimal growth and performance.

The Government of India has launched programs that strongly focus on healthy eating,

Nutrition for children

Providing proper nutrition to children is challenging because they are voracious eaters and are easily tempted by junk food.

In this situation, parents or guardians can try to improve the aesthetic appeal of food by using colorful vegetables.

Early childhood is the age when energy needs are greatest since the child’s development and more protein and essential fatty acids are needed for advanced brain development.

Nutrition for Adolescents

A child’s body experiences tremendous growth during adolescence. During this period, children go through puberty and undergo many physical changes.

Consequently, this period requires that the diet of adolescents is rich in nutrients, protein, iron and minerals that provide them with the energy they need and promote their growth.

Parents are advised to feed their children whole grain breads, cereals, fruits, legumes, vegetables and dairy products.

Nutrition for young people aged 20 to 40 years

At a young age, our bodies are active and perform various functions. The importance of healthy eating for a disease-free body is highlighted in Adult Nutrition.

Food intake for men and women depends on age (20 to 40). Women who want to have children should eat more iron, vitamins and minerals.

Nutrition for the middle-aged between 40 and 60 years

Between the ages of 40 and 60, it becomes easier to strike a perfect balance between health and fitness.

This is an age of evolution, and as metabolism changes, so do food demands. This age group needs to ensure that they maintain excellent health by eating a diet rich in powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants that boost immunity and improve digestion.

Due to hormonal instability, this age group is vulnerable heart disease, high blood pressureMood swings, and osteoporosis.

In addition to avocados, berries and green leafy vegetables, iron-rich foods like nuts are good sources of healthy fatty acids like omega-3s.

Nutrition for Seniors, 60 and Over

The diet of the elderly should be rich in nutrients because this is the time when physical function begins to decline and daily tasks become more difficult.

In addition to digestive problems that can affect their eating habits, some older people may be unable to prepare their meals independently or cannot chew or swallow food effectively due to dental problems.

  • Older adults should eat nutrient-dense foods instead of high-calorie foods, such as eggs, lean meats, fish, liver, low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals.
  • They must stay away from foods like cakes, sugary biscuits and soft drinks which are high in energy but low in nutrients.
  • Fiber-rich foods that support gut health should be served to the elderly.
  • Use a small amount of table salt when cooking for the elderly.
  • If at all possible, seniors should spend some time outside each day to increase vitamin D production and preserve strong bones.

Nutrition for menopausal women

Due to hormonal changes, postmenopausal women often experience weak bones. For women approaching menopause, the following diet and food recommendations are provided:

  • Consume foods high in calcium
  • Hot flashes are one of the many menopausal symptoms that can be alleviated with a high-fiber, low-fat, and low-salt diet. They can consider healthy dietary sources like cracked wheat, lentils and chickpeas (dahlia).
  • Women nearing menopause should include nutrient-dense foods in their diet, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
  • Weight-bearing exercises such as walking or weight-lifting can help maintain body weight and strengthen bones.

Nutrition for breastfeeding mothers

A breastfeeding woman’s diet requires a lot of extra energy. Foods that are high in nutrients help meet the additional nutritional needs that come with nursing.

To name a few:

  • Nutritionally dense foods are essential for pregnant women, especially those high in folate, iodine, zinc, and calcium.
  • Constipation, fatigue and dehydration can all be brought on by breastfeeding. So pregnant women must drink water.

Nutrition for pregnant women

A pregnant woman should focus on increasing her food intake throughout the first and second trimesters.

Depending on her pre-pregnancy weight, expectant mothers often gain 10 to 13 kg during their pregnancy.

Check out these food recommendations for pregnant women:

  • Enjoy carvings, but avoid letting them replace more nutritious options.
  • Several nutrients are in high demand during pregnancy, including folate, iron, vitamin B12 and iodine.
  • Iron is needed to transport oxygen throughout the body. Additionally, taking vitamin C will help mothers absorb more iron from their diet.
  • To avoid neural tube defects (spina bifida) in the newborn, folate is very important before and during the three months of pregnancy. High-folate foods should be eaten by all expectant mothers (such as green leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes).
  • Throughout pregnancy, the recommended calcium intake does not change. However, women who are pregnant must meet their calcium levels during pregnancy.
  • Focus on drinking enough water
  • don’t say alcohol and smoking as both active and passive smoking can cause birth defects, placental disorders, perinatal death, growth restriction and other complications.

last thought

From childhood through old age, our nutritional needs change as we go through different life stages.

To stay active and healthy, it’s important to take into account the additional demands these changes place on your body.

While a young person wants lighter colors and smaller portions on their plate, an older person or person with weak teeth needs a softer, more nutrient-dense diet.

Compared to women their own age, expectant mothers have unique nutritional needs. For the baby developing inside them, they need extra nutrition.

Along with the awareness plan for this year’s Nutrition Week, we have detailed here the different nutritional requirements for different age groups.

Additionally, you should undergo preventive health checkups. These health tests give a complete report on your health, allowing you to take necessary precautions to improve your health and ward off many illnesses.

Book a full physical health exam today!

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