Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Discuss the nutritional recommendations across the lifespan – from pregnancy to childhood, and from adolescence to adulthood.

During pregnancy, your nutrition affects you and your unborn baby. A healthy balanced diet will consist of essential nutrients to help support the growth and development of the baby. Our bodies are tasked with maintaining the health of the ever-changing body during pregnancy as well as supporting the healthy development of the baby. Nutrition guidelines during this time include a diet rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. During pregnancy, your body needs folic acid and adequate iron intake in order produce healthy new red blood cells. Food alone may not provide enough iron therefore, iron supplements and or prenatal vitamins are essential.  Infants and children experience rapid growth periods, and rapid development of the nervous systems therefore, high nutrition intake is important. Nutritional guidelines include a diet rich of vitamin D in low fat milk, iron-fortified breads, cereals, and lean meats, fruits vegetables, and juices rich in vitamin C. Adults and adolescents nutritional guidelines involves eating iron rich foods, plenty of vitamin C rich foods, lean meats, poultry, red meats, and fish. Adolescence is a very important period for gaining calcium and for building up strong bones, especially in girls. The majority of bone formation occurs during adolescence, thus, it is important to ensure adequate calcium intake. Healthy nutritional habits can start at any time, any point in our lives. Taking small steps, making small changes is what will make the difference and help one to achieve healthy lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime. An active lifestyle, or working out promotes a healthy lifestyle at any age. The consequences of not doing so includes chronic health diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers, lack of energy, memory loss and fatigue.
Sizer, F. & Whitney, E. (2011).  Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies (12th ed.).  Mason, OH: Cengage Learning