Growth Foods for Your Children

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Growth-Foods_cChildren grow and develop rapidly. Protein is the building block of all the cells in our bodies and therefore an essential part of the diet. Since children grow so quickly, they have a higher requirement for protein than do adults. As well as helping growth, proteins are also important for repairing any damage to body tissue. It is reassuring to know that protein deficiency is almost unheard of in this country and most of us eat more protein than we need.

Protein is made up of amino acids, some of which the body can manufacture and some of which can be obtained from food. Animal proteins contain all the amino acids that the body needs, whereas soya is the only plant-based food that contains all the essential amino acids. To provide complete proteins, pulses and grains need to be combined, such as baked beans on toast or lentils and rice. Good animal sources of protein are red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, grains, pulses and tofu.

Fats and oils

Fats and oils are also included in this group of growth foods, not for their essential fatty acid properties but for their high caloric contents. Fats are like liquid gold packed full of energy. In order to meet the high demands for energy of a growing infant or child, the diet must contain adequate amounts of fat.

Babies and young children need more fat in their diet than adults because of their rapid growth, so don't be worried about adding a good dollop of butter to a baked potato or making pasta in a creamy cheese sauce.

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