Nutritional needs vary according to the stages of life. From infantry to adultery nutrition is a vitally important aspect of such characteristics as mental development, growth, sexual development and resistance to illnesses. That is why maintaining a well-organized healthy diet is crucial for providing the population with appropriate development and omitting health problems.
At the infantry stage the differences in nutrition for boys and girls are generally not observed. Infants are first of all fed through breast milk, which is preferable in all cases, and infant formula, if breast feeding is not available. Infants receive most calories from fats, namely omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are demanded for development. Infants require more protein than adults – 1.52g per kg of body weight. First 6 months iron is received from breast milk, afterwards – from fortified whole grain cereals, raisins, lean meats, and eggs (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006). Calcium is needed mostly at 4-8 years to support bone density and avoid risks of future osteoporosis.
At this stage sexual maturation begins, including physical changes which have a significant effect on the nutritional needs; bodily growth at the puberty period (10 to 17) initiates a weight gain of around 53 pounds for girls and 70 pounds for boys. More calories are needed, especially for boys as they are bigger in body and muscle mass than girls. Increased amount of vitamins needed to cover energy consumption. Genders starts playing its role – at the beginning of mensus girls need more iron - 15 mg at age 14-18 and only 11 mg for boys. Vitamin A 11 mg for boys and 9 mg for girls
Adult men are able to consume more calories than women due to the fact that men generally weigh more than women. Women need more iron than men during their menstruating years, men need more protein than women, this need is generally determined by weight (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006).
Right nutrition during pregnancy is extremely important as it determines the basic nutritional health of the child, and provides a model for their eating habits in future. As seen in the picture the woman gains weight of about 30lbs during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association recommends consumption of products of all categories, rich in following ingredients.
300 extra calories per day during 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy is needed for weigh gaining.
75 to 100 grams of protein per day for the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain.
1000mg calcium daily – building baby’s bones and tooth buds.
85mg Vitamin C - promoting metabolic processes.
27mg iron - in combination with sodium, potassium, and water, it helps increase blood volume. The requirements of iron are shown on the graph slide 6 (optional).
Vivid gender difference is generally blurred. Women no more require more iron and usually need less calories, proteins and calcium. The calorie consumption decreases, but water, protein, carbohydrates, fats needs stay the same. To prevent Vitamin D deficiency – 10-15ug per day. It is recommended to take Vitamin B12 supplements. Food: Grosvenor and Smolin recommend three servings of milk, two or more servings from the meat group, three or more servings of vegetables, two or more servings of fruit, six or more servings of whole grain carbohydrates, and eight or more servings of water.
The nutritional needs for both men and women change throughout the life. That is why accurate and precise following dietary recommendations, such as given on the picture, is crucial for maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. Nutrition: Everyday choices. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2006
“Pregnancy Nutrition”. American Pregnancy Association. Accessed February 23, 2011. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/pregnancynutrition.html
Tate, A. (2008). Nutrition Needs from Infant to Older Adult. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/654139/nutrition_needs_from_infant_to_older_pg5.html?cat=25