Dietary Needs For Adults

Topics: DietLifestyle

This essay sample on Dietary Needs For Adults provides all necessary basic info on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.

Everybody’s dietary needs depend on a lot of different factors. One of the main stages that is dependant is life stages (New born, Adolescent, Adult and Pensioners). A balanced diet is a diet that has a varied amount of foods or nutrients (Carbohydrates, Minerals and Fruit and Vegetables etc).

This is so that the individual eats healthy amounts according to their needs but each person has different needs.

Life Stages:

Infancy 0-3 Years – New born babies are very good when eating foods as their needs are simple. They need milk and water and this meets all of their needed nutrients. Babies can be given milk through a bottle or the mother can breast feed. There are my benefits of breast feeding and they are:

  • It contains all nutrients in correct amounts.

  • It contains antibodies that protect new born against diseases in the first few months of life.
  • It is clean whereas the bottle may contain bacteria etc.
  • It is already produced by the mother and it can be given in the correct portions.
  • Breast milk does not cause allergies so the baby will be safe.

Nutritional Needs Vary For Each Stage Of Life

When the baby is being carried in the womb and at birth, the mother of the child is encouraged to breastfeed for at least a few weeks after the baby’s birth.

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On the other hand some women chose that they don’t want to breast feed or sometimes they can’t as a result they use formula milk (modified cow’s milk). The infant’s kidneys and digestive system is not fully matured when they are born so it is vital that the mothers follow instructions on how to prepare the bottle to reduce the risk of infection. This is why breastfeeding is an easier option.

6 Months Old – This is the age where most babies are introduced into solid foods such as rusks (baby biscuits) and this process is called weaning. Weaning is started around the sixth month of the newborns life. Moreover, this will avoid damage to the young kidneys and obesity and allergies.

8 Months Old – At this stage in the toddlers’ life more solid foods are introduced into the baby’s diet such as cereals and pureed fruit and vegetables. As time goes on the baby gets older and it grows bigger so lumpier foods are put into the diet however this can be different to other babies as they all grow and mature at different ages. Sometimes it takes babies longer than others to chew and swallow lumps.

12-18 Months Old – At this age the baby can now be given cow milk which is full fat and now they should be eating a varied amount of foods that help them to have a balanced diet. Using the milk as food will not be necessary because as they grow older they begin to eat solid foods with the family. Skimmed milk should only be given to children after the age of five. It is important that up to the age of three they have a lot of iron-rich foods. When the children begin weaning they begin to move around a lot and use up more energy so their diet must contain more carbohydrates which provide a good source of energy for crawling and walking youngsters.

Childhood: Ages 4-10 – At this stage in the child’s life they are beginning to explore the world and this is the start of their education so their diet should reflect their growing needs. They still need a lot of energy but this will differ due to every child having a different sized body and they will have a different stomach to adults). This is vital for the children’s nutrition. Parents are advised to give their children healthy snacks and meals so as they grow up this will be part of their routine and they will have a healthy body.

Mainly other foods like sweets, fizzy drinks and fatty foods are certainly meant to be avoided because it can cause health problems such as obesity however they can be given as treats. A good time to eat these foods is after meal times as it avoids tooth decay. It is also good to have the children show manners and social skills by eating with a knife and fork and drinking from a cup when at the table. It is also vital that the child learns how to brush their teeth so they stay healthy and this will eventually become a habit.

Adolescence: 11-18 Years Old – Adolescences’ grow very quickly as this is where there is a big change in a person for example they grow taller and put on weight. There are physical changes both externally and internally. All of these changes require energy so an adolescences’’ appetite can be large as they crave foods which are fatty which causes the weight increase however they should still eat balanced foods. A diet that is high in fats, sugars and salt may result in health problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease which will develop as they grow older. It is important that adolescences take part in exercise which will help them to stay fit and lose weight but also its main benefit will be to avoid these health problems. At this age they should be told about the risks of severe dieting that some teenagers are susceptible to.

Adults: 19-65 Years – Adults need to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Their ages will decide how much food they should eat and how much carbohydrates and fats to avoid. This will prevent heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Adults’ nutritional requirements reduce as they grow older because they become less able to do physical exercise. They are advised to do some exercise so their body stays healthy and this could result in people living longer. Also as people become adults they are allowed to drink alcohol so there are safe intake measurements with both men and women. Men should consume 21 units and Women should consume 14 units.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding – During teenage pregnancy girls are more likely to suffer with nutrient deficiencies as their bodies are still growing and changing as a result it is vital that they eat more foods as they now have the job of feeding the foetus and because their pregnant they provide breast milk. When an adult is pregnant their nutritional needs increase slightly to help the foetus develop and also the placenta which guards the baby.

The figure of speech,’eating for two’ is known and used by many people but this is not completely true. It is more important that they eat a well balanced diet instead of eating lots of foods. If the pregnancy is planned it is advised that woman have more folic acid in their diet maybe in the form of a tablet. Folic acid has been proven to lower the risk of spina bifida in the foetus. If the family of the baby have a good diet then this can be passed down to the baby for example if a person like brussell sprouts this is down to the genes.

Older People: 65 Years and Older – As we grow older our bodies become less able to do things like exercise and so our need for energy decreases slightly. Even though they don’t need a lot of food older people still need energy from foods. The sources needed are proteins, vitamins and minerals. Some older people may not eat enough food and so they can’t have a balanced diet with a good amount of nutrition. One of the reasons why they don’t eat enough could be due to depression or being alone. Sometimes if they lose their partners then they may not feel like cooking and they lose their appetite. In order to maintain their appetite they are advised to cook tasty and easy nutritious meals. This will help them to avoid illness. If they do exercise here and there then they will be healthy physically and mentally and this will increase their social wellbeing.

Concept of a Balanced Diet

Intake and Needs – Apart from breast milk there is no other single food that provides nutrients for a healthy and balanced diet as a result we have to eat a varied amount of foods to keep us healthy. Usually there are no unhealthy foods as such as it is just unbalanced amounts of foods that can cause consequences as health problems.

Energy Balance – The term energy balance means how much energy is taken into their bodies and given out but they are both equal. Energy intake is mainly from carbohydrates and fats in diet and the output is the energy that is used during everyday processes like breathing, moving and metabolism. If the energy input is more than the output then the extra bit is stored as fat as it cannot be given off. Over a long period of time this fat will cause chronic conditions like obesity.

Children will need a higher intake of energy as they are now at the stage where they’re growing rapidly. Since the mid-twentieth century people living in developed countries have become less active due to the changes in work, transport and technology and this can have a bad impact on their health as this causes obesity.

Dietary Reference Values:

Dietary reference values were developed by the department of health 1991 to replace recommended daily amounts (RDA’S). DRV are a suggested amount of energy and nutrient intakes and they should not be taken in as exact amounts. They are just guidelines for people of the same age group and they show an estimate of how much energy and nutrients should be taken in and sometimes if can be decided by the gender. These recommendations show what people need for good health. Even though DRV are given as daily intakes, people don’t eat the same foods every day and so their appetite can change. Consequently the intakes of energy and nutrients are averaged over several days moreover DRV only apply to healthy people.

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Dietary Needs For Adults. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Dietary Needs For Adults
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