All children need to have a healthy and balanced diet. But especially for children who are active in their daily lives - starting from school, extracurricular and bimbel, this course-that, sports, and so on - parents need to be wiser to adjust their nutritional needs. Active child nutrition needs to be adjusted to support a higher level of activity. Check out tips for meeting active child nutritional needs in this article.
Active children need higher energy intake
Based on the recommendation of the Nutrition Adequacy Rate from the Indonesian Ministry of Health, school children (ages 6 to 18) generally need around 1,600 to 2,800 calories per day. The denser the activity, the child may need more calories than this.
Your baby's energy, protein, carbohydrate and liquid needs will also change with increasing daily activities. Because the demand for higher activity makes the body of an active child burn more calories than other children his age. But, meeting the nutritional needs of an active child is not just just adding the food portion.
The importance of implementing a healthy diet for children
Providing consistent nutrition is the key. Instead of dwelling on adding food portions, focus on a healthy lifestyle for all family members. Manage your diet, such as applying a schedule of 3 staples and 2 meals a day. Reduce consumption of junk food and high-sugar drinks such as soda. Don't forget to include the following types of food in the family food menu:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Cereals and whole wheat bread
- Dairy products, such as pure milk, yogurt and low or nonfat cheese
- Skinless meat and fat, such as chicken, turkey, and fish.
Keep ice cream, biscuits and cakes out of the reach of children. Or better yet, don't provide this food at home. You also need to remain alert to various possibilities. For example snack children carelessly at school. In short, children will face many temptations every day even though you have tried your best to form a healthy diet at home. If necessary, bring provisions for children at school and at the tutoring place.
Remember, you as a parent are a role model in this process, so choose healthy foods for yourself and your family. And even though school-age children tend to be busy, try to get them to eat with their family as often as possible. Eating with family is the right time for each family member to share stories. Through this activity, you can also make sure your child gets the best nutritional intake.
Tips to meet active child nutritional needs
1. Make sure the child eats before doing activities
Before you start doing activities, make sure the child has eaten first. The food that enters can be a store of energy for the body. But also pay attention to the time. Children should eat two to three hours before starting exercise. Additional snacks can also be given about 30 to 60 minutes before the child sports. this can help increase his body's energy levels.
The body needs about two hours to digest carbohydrates. Therefore, you should consume foods that contain carbohydrates that are easy to digest before starting the activity. Don't forget to drink enough water before and during the exercise to ensure that your child's body remains well hydrated.
2. Maintain food intake after activity
During the first 30 minutes after he has finished the activity, for example a ball extracurricular or tutoring lessons, give your child plenty of fluids and food to replace the energy released by the body. You can choose light snacks such as biscuits, bread, or fruits. Two hours later, give more heavy foods to restore the body's condition, such as rice with side dishes and vegetables or sandwiches filled with meat and vegetables.
Within 24 hours of strenuous activity, the body will process the repair of damaged muscle cells and replenish exhausted energy and fluid reserves. Therefore, it is important to ensure that after carrying out activities, you provide a balanced amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber for your child.
3. Don't just add food portions
Most of your children naturally eat the right amount of food needed by their body. What needs to be emphasized is that the nutritional needs of one active child and another may be different. All of this depends on the age, the child's current weight, and the type and intensity of his activity. Children's calorie needs can also rise when they reach puberty, so this factor must also be carefully considered.
If you are worried that your child is eating too much or too little even if the activity is solid, consult your pediatrician. Your doctor or nutritionist will provide healthy food solutions to meet the nutritional needs of active children.
Thomas Rowland, MD, a professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, reported from Today's Dietitian, said that basically every active child must have a healthy weight. If the body weight is stable or actually decreases over time, the activity continues to increase, which means that the child's calorie needs are not met. Especially if your child is a young athlete. Unmet calorie needs can be reflected in sports performance. Therefore, in addition to fulfilling their nutritional needs, parents must also continue to monitor the development of the child's weight.
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