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Senin, 14 Maret 2011
What is good nutrition for children?
The word “healthy” has different meanings to different people. To some it means plenty of vegetables and to others, it means lots of grains and dried fruit.
Some may say that anything natural has to be healthy, while others consider only the fat and sugar content. Even amongst nutritionists and dietitians the specifics about what “healthy” means in a whole diet context is passionately debated.
If we consider what nutrition is from a purely scientific perspective, good nutrition or health means giving the body the key nutrients it needs; the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the right amounts and at the right times. For growing children this means also providing all the essential vitamins and minerals that they need for optimal growth and development. If this scientific definition of “healthy” is then transferred into real food terms, it means that “healthy” food options need to provide a number of these key nutrients, and hence the entire “nutritional profile” of a food needs to be considered as opposed to just its fat, sugar or fibre content.
To make this description a little clearer, let’s compare the nutritional profile of ice cream versus yoghurt. Ice cream is generally thought of as a product that is far less healthy than yoghurt but if you consider that a tub of yoghurt can contain up to 30g of total carbohydrate and 800 kilojoules compared to a portion controlled low fat ice cream on a stick which contains just 400kJ and just 20g of total carbohydrate, you can again see that it can be easy to be mislead by products that are routinely put into a “healthy” category.
For these reasons, TASTE has considered the entire nutrient profile of the recipes featured in its “healthy kids” section when classifying each meal and snack option. For both meals and snacks, portion control, and as a result, kilojoules have been considered, as well as the relative amounts of key nutrients including low GI carbohydrates and good quality proteins. Keeping saturated, or bad fat as low as possible has been a key focus, as has making sure that each recipe offers something nutritionally, whether it be fibre, calcium or iron.