Nutritional needs and opportunities for primary school-aged children:
- This is also a time of life during which physical growth is slower than during infancy, but nutritional needs are still high within the face of relatively small appetites.
- It may be a important time for assuring that the nutrient density of children’s foods is high and dietary supplements are provided where indicated.
- Primary School Age: transitional time for fogeys as kids are influenced by the world around them like foods likes and dislikes of the peers and mass advertisement.
- The food choices influence their development, future health risks and food habits
- The development and increased availability of functional, fortified food products, designed on the most effective available scientific and marketing evidence to satisfy both the special nutrient needs and products acceptability criteria of this people may be a vital advancement in combating childhood malnutrition.
Parental Concerns for teens are:
- Immunity: all-natural ingredients and products that are “free-from” ingredients are perceived as unhealthy.
- Gut Health: Growing awareness of the rise of overweight and obese children → products containing “added sugars is also a priority.
- Growth of kids’ organic snacks
Kids Food Acceptability
- Important triggers for youths include flavors, texture, shapes, packaging, cartoon characters and play elements.
- A potential growth area for child-oriented food is that the increase in interest in healthy, “on-the-go” snacks for youths or other similar convenience foods, particularly people who are lower in sugar and fat.
Some Important Health Conditions in Children
Weight Management and Obesity
- Factors contribute to the increase in childhood obesity, includes poor eating habits and general inactivity.
- Effort must be placed on eating healthier foods and
- Avoiding eating oversized portions of fast foods that are high in fat and calories.
- Growing children have high energy needs and might gain weight as they mature, but they need to observe out that they don’t consume too many calories which can cause that they may result in inappropriate weight gain and obesity.
- Satiety-inducing ingredients, like protein – specifically whey protein; fibers like inulin and oligofructose; oils like palm and oat; and hydroxy citrate (HCA) may help to deliver a way of fullness when accustomed fortify children’s food and beverage products.
- The best approach to weight management and obesity would be increased physical activity with healthier diet that has a large number of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Cognitive Function and Focus
- Another area of parental concern is that children’s nutritional intake is optimizing their cognitive function and reducing the danger of developing attention disorders.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one in all the foremost misdiagnosed condition in children’s health which are characterized by inattention and distractibility. ADHD have significant effects on behavior and faculty academic performance so it is best to specialize in supporting a child’s brain in order that they can reach their maximum potential.
- School age children include Autistic behaviors which are characterized by poor social interactions, communication skills, repetitive and ritual behaviors and aversion to noise.
- Learning disorders associated with abnormal development in reading, mathematics and written language is another important concern for folks.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Docosa- Hexaenoic Acid (DHA) and omega 3 fatty acid (ALA) is very important within the normal brain development of the fetus, infants, and young children.
- Magnesium helps to calm the brain and is common deficiency in children with ADHD. Zinc is an important co-factor in producing the brain’s neurotransmitters.
- Phosphatidylserine (PS) could be a fat-soluble phospholipid and a key component of all cell membranes but is found in particularly high concentrations within the brain. This nutrient is extracted from lecithin and is found in foods like soy and eggs. PS is gaining recognition as a spotlight focus and attention-supporting nutrient because of its role in benefiting a good range of brain functions. It supports the production of neurotransmitter – dopamine and hence maintains nerve connections.
- Single nutrient deficiencies are related to impaired immunity, and overall good nutrition is vital to optimize immune function.
- Asthma is an immune-related disease which will be found in obese children.
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is sort of common in children.
- Eczema is commonest skin disease in children, and is characterized by itchy and inflamed skin, commonly seen within the skin creases of the elbow and behind the knees.
- Positive Impact on Immunity: Immunity enhancing properties of the B vitamins, similarly as vitamins D and E, and therefore the course of role of gut health.
In Demand Nutrients for Growing Children
- Meeting the high nutritional needs of school-aged children with small appetites could be a challenge requiring high nutrient dense foods, including fortified food products that would be designed to be particularly appealing to the present age bracket.
- Important nutrient categories for the growing child include essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids; and bio-active phytonutrients.
- Good growth means healthy bone development, which demands adequate protein intake, but also sufficient levels of bone-building minerals and vitamins, like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D.
- Vitamin D-fortified milk is very important food source for all of those bone building nutrients.
- For lactose intolerance: Low-lactose food choices that are rich in bone-building nutrients is vital.
- Fermented milk products, including yogurts, are lower in lactose and are often used or tolerated to a greater extent in many cultures with a high prevalence of milk intolerance.
- Fortified beverages, like calcium and ergocalciferol fortified fruit crush are gaining in popularity as an alternative lactose-free, nutrient-rich beverage to fluid milk.
- Adequate levels of other essential micronutrients, like zinc, water soluble vitamin and vitamin K, also are needed for skeletal growth.
- Deficits of zinc and poor zinc status even have important negative effects on immunity and have shown to extend morbidity and mortality from diarrheal and respiratory diseases.
- Folate, cyanocobalamin, and other B vitamins are needed for DNA replication and red corpuscle formation
- Iron bolsters immunity and protects against developing anemia with the onset of menstruation in older girls.
- Iron and folate fortified breakfast cereals are important sources of nutrients within the diet, and youngsters that skip breakfast miss on a very important opportunity for the healthful micronutrients and will like increased availability of micronutrient enriched “on-the-go” breakfast items.
- Beta-carotene is found in many fruits and vegetables and may be converted by the body into fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin A is very important for several functions within the body, including immune function.
- Inadequate consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA and EPA, found in high amounts of certain marine oils. These long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are important for visual and brain development in infants and balances the supply of anti-inflammatory signals produced by immune cells.
- Antioxidants, vitamin E, and also the minerals selenium, iron, manganese and copper also are important.
- Important opportunities exist for the event of recent food products designed to assist ameliorate these co- morbidities related to excess weight. Child acceptable sweet-tasting products containing a decreased amount of added sugar are going to be important to assist reduce calorie intake and the glucose load that must be managed by pancreatic insulin secretion. To appeal to the appetence a range of sweeteners, among them stevia, xylitol and rebaudioside A (Reb-A), might be incorporated to counter the decreased, or complete removal of sugar in many product applications.
- Low-salt tasty, child-friendly products that utilize a salt substitute like K ion can help reduce sodium intake and should help to lower pressure level in overweight individuals.
- Added phytonutrients like plant sterols, could help to cut back reduce dietary cholesterol absorption as a part of the dietary effort to manage these obesity-associated conditions in a very growing segment of the kids’ population.
- Fruits and vegetables are important sources of essential micronutrients, including axeropthol , but also phytochemicals which will have potentially important health benefits, including roles as antioxidants. But vegetable intake for kids remains on the lower side. In order that they miss out on important components like essential micronutrients, dietary fiber, and bioactive food components.
- New food products supplying fruit or vegetable extracts to children in fun and delicious ways can be a vital health benefit, especially for children who are picky eaters.
Fortification and Formulation Challenges
- Toaster pastries or cereal bars that include fiber with a nutrient-fortified filling, vitamin-enriched milk powder mix, nutritionally improved cookies, and fortified confectionery like a lollipop are just some of the numerous sorts of products that will be utilized to lift a child’s nutritional intake.
- The challenge for formulators is to select appropriate kinds of each nutrient that delivers their individual desired levels without affecting flavor, solubility, bioavailability, sensory properties, and the mouthfeel of the finished product.
- Questions to handle before fortifying a product with ingredients geared forward aimed at improving kids’ health include:
- Type of product to be fortified
- Amount of assorted nutrients to be added, particularly if a manufacturer is trying to satisfy a particular label claim
- Whether additional ingredients should be added to reinforce performance
- Processing conditions, like time and temperature
- pH of the finished product
- Shelf life and other components of the finished product