Contributed by: Anjali Sharma
Every year India observes National Nutrition Week from September 1 to September 7 to raise awareness about the importance of consuming nutrition-rich food and healthy eating habits.
Indian government launches this programme every year in the first week of the month of September.
Maintaining a healthy weight also guards against a number of non-communicable illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular problems.
The nutritional needs of our bodies change as we age. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider which foods, based on your age, are genuinely nutritious for you.
National Nutrition Week Theme
The theme for this year is Celebrate a “World of Flavors”.
Each year, the government also presents a unique topic as part of National Nutrition Week that primarily focuses on that year’s subject. Last year the theme was “feeding smart from the start” as the government had already promised.
Significance of National Nutrition Week 2022
National Nutrition Week aims to inform people about wholesome, nutritious eating.
To raise awareness of this fundamental phenomenon, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Government of India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development organises a weeklong celebration of National Nutrition Week every year.
A healthy diet’s significance and function in the human body are emphasised. A diet rich in critical nutrients must be consumed for optimal growth and function.
The Indian government has launched programmes that strongly focus on wholesome eating,
Nutrition for children
It is challenging to provide children with the right nourishment since they are fussy eaters and are readily tempted by junk food.
In this situation, the parents or guardians may attempt to improve the food’s aesthetic attractiveness by using colourful veggies.
Early infancy is the age when energy needs are highest since the kid is developing and needs more protein and necessary fatty acids for improved brain development.
Nutrition for teenagers
A child’s physique experiences tremendous growth during the teen years. During this period, children go through puberty and go through a lot of physical changes.
As a result, this period necessitates that the adolescent’s food is rich in nutrients, proteins, irons, and minerals that provide them with the necessary energy and promote their growth.
Parents are advised to feed their children wholegrain bread, cereals, fruits, legumes, veggies, and dairy products.
Nutrition for youngsters in the 20 to 40 age group
At a young age, our body is active and performs various functions. The importance of eating healthily for a disease-free body is highlighted by adult nutrition.
Male and female dietary intakes vary depending on age groups (20 to 40). More iron, vitamins, and minerals should be consumed by females who want to have children.
Nutrition for middle-aged in the 40 to 60 Age group
In the age group from 40 to 60, it becomes easy to make a perfect balance between health and fitness.
It’s the age of evolution, and as metabolism changes, so do dietary demands. This age group needs to make sure they maintain excellent health by eating a diet rich in powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants that boost immunity and enhance digestion.
In addition to avocado, berries, and green leafy vegetables, foods high in iron like nuts are good sources of healthful fatty acids like Omega 3. These foods also aid in the relief of early-onset symptoms.
Nutrition for the elderly, 60 and above
Diets for older persons should be rich in nutrients because this is the time when physical function starts to degrade and everyday tasks become more difficult.
In addition to digestive issues that may impact their eating habits, some elderly people may be unable to independently prepare their meals or may not be able to chew or swallow food effectively owing to dental issues.
Elderly people should eat nutrient-dense foods rather than those high in calories, such as eggs, lean meats, fish, liver, low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruit and vegetables, whole grain bread, and cereals.They must stay away from foods like cakes, sugary biscuits, and soft beverages that are high in energy but low in nutrients.Foods high in fibre that support gut health must be served to seniors.Use only a small amount of table salt when cooking for elderly people.If at all feasible, seniors should spend some time outside each day to promote vitamin D production and preserve strong bones.
Nutrition for menopausal women
Due to hormonal changes, postmenopausal women frequently develop bone weakening. For women who are nearing menopause, the following diets and food recommendations are provided:
Consume foods high in calciumHot flashes are only one of the many menopausal symptoms that can be relieved with a high-fibre, low-fat, and low-salt diet. They can take into consideration healthy dietary sources like cracked wheat, lentils, and chickpeas (Dalia).Women who are close to menopause need to incorporate nutrient-dense foods in their diets, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.Exercises that include bearing weight, like walking or weightlifting, can help maintain a healthy body weight and strengthen bones.
Nutrition for breastfeeding mothers
The diet of a breastfeeding woman demands a lot of extra energy. Foods that are high in nutrients aid them in meeting the extra nutritional requirements that come with nursing.
To name a few:
Nutritionally dense meals are essential for pregnant women, especially those high in folate, iodine, zinc, and calcium.Constipation, tiredness, and dehydration can all be brought on by breastfeeding. Therefore, pregnant ladies must drink water without fail.
Nutrition for pregnant women
A pregnant woman should concentrate on boosting her food intake throughout the first and second trimesters.
Depending on her pre-pregnancy weight, expecting moms often gain 10 to 13 kg during their pregnancies.
Check out these food recommendations for pregnant women:
Enjoy carvings, but avoid letting them replace more nutritious options.Pregnancy places a high demand on a number of nutrients, including folate, iron, vitamin B12, and iodine.The body needs iron to transport oxygen throughout it. Additionally, consuming vitamin C will help expecting moms absorb more iron from their diet.To avoid neural tube defects (spina bifida) in the infant, folate is crucial three months before and during pregnancy. High-folate meals ought to be consumed by all expectant mothers (such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, and legumes).Throughout pregnancy, there is no change in the recommended calcium consumption. However, women who are pregnant must reach their calcium levels while they are pregnant.Focus on adequate water consumption Say no to alcohol and smoking since both active and passive smoking can cause birth defects, placental disorders, perinatal death, stunted growth, and other complications.
From infancy through old age, our nutritional needs change as we progress through different life phases.
To stay active and healthy, it’s crucial to take into account the additional demands that these changes place on your body.
While a younger person wants lighter hues and smaller portions on their plates, an elderly person or someone with weaker teeth needs a softer, more nutrient-dense diet.
Compared to ladies their own age, expectant moms have distinct nutritional requirements. For the developing infant inside of them, they require additional nutrition.
With the awareness plan for this year’s Nutrition Week here we have elaborated on the different nutrition requirements for different age groups.
Furthermore, you should also undergo preventive health checkups. These health checks give a complete report about your health, allowing you to take necessary precautionary measures to improve your well-being and keep a host of ailments at bay.