Despite all the technological and scientific advances, easy availability of different brands and products, all human kind is invariably driven on the urge to satisfy first and foremost, the most basic necessities- like food.
Though nutritional requirements are different for different age groups, the role of food is considered especially important in the early years, as almost the entire process of growth and development is completed in this age group.
Food, especially during infancy could substantially influence the growth and development pattern of a child. Since there are many physiological changes taking place which affect the nutrient intake and feeding pattern, adequate nutrition during this phase lays the foundation for a healthy individual, promoting optimal growth and strengthening the immune system.
By childhood, the child has established a pattern of eating but is constantly influenced by his peers and the environment around him. This affects his eating pattern and the choice of foods. Some children may develop nutritional deficiencies at this stage due to poor eating habits and hence proper nutrition is very important. Proper balanced meals need to be taken to ensure that the nutritional requirements are adequately met.
The period of adolescence is marked by an increase in thevelocity of growth. This sudden increase in the rate of growth leads to an increase in the nutritional requirements.