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HLT 111 - Health and the Young Child - Textbook

child eating watermelon

Overview

Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and to prevent various health conditions. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans  recommend that people aged 2 years or older follow a healthy eating pattern that includes the following2:

  • A variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Whole grains.
  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy products.
  • A variety of protein foods.
  • Oils.

These guidelines also recommend that individuals limit calories from solid fats (major sources of saturated and trans fatty acids) and added sugars, and reduce sodium intake.  Unfortunately, most children and adolescents do not follow the recommendations set forth in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  • Schools are in a unique position to provide students with opportunities to learn about and practice healthy eating behaviors.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory), reduced absenteeism, and improved mood.
  • Adequate hydration may also improve cognitive function in children and adolescents, which is important for learning.

Module 3 consists of Chapters 9-12 that deal with basic concepts about food and nutrition, nutrients that provides energy, nutrients that promote growth regulate body function, and the importance of feeding infants, toddlers and young children.

Source: Reproduced from The Centers for Disease Control: Childhood Nutrition Facts.