If you have been browsing our site, you might have noticed the large amount of information we have on daily healthy eating plans – men or women, younger or older, pregnant or not… This is a summary of a healthy diet plan for all age groups.
Infants 0 – 6 months
The best diet for this age group is breast milk – it provides all the nutrients that baby needs and more importantly, it also provides antibodies, white blood cells and nucleotides which are very important because they help the baby combat various infections that will try and attack the baby.
You can begin weaning the baby at around two weeks of age by giving it a few spoonfuls of smooth and totally bland food. Suitable foods include non-wheat cereals such as baby rice and pureed fruit or vegetables. After four weeks you can begin feeding the child purees of meat, poultry, lentils and beans. The feeding bottle can contain full-fat cow’s milk. After about 6 months you can begin feeding thicker, lumpier food so the child learns to chew. Aim for 2 – 3 servings of potatoes, bread, rice (or yams), fruit and vegetables and 1 serving cooked meat or fish or egg or tofu or beans or lentils.
When the baby is roughly a year old
you can begin feeding your child diced versions of the food that you eat (it should be as bland as possible). Between meals it can be fed fruit and vegetables (or soup).
For children between 1 to 4 years of age
you should include food that is rich in iron, vitamin C, Calcium and Vitamins A, C and D. See how vitamins and minerals are important and where to find them. Remember that your child needs a lot more energy and nutrients for their body size than adults and therefore they need smaller but nutrient- dense meals more often.
At this age a healthy breakfast is vitally important. Snacks if any should consist of healthy sandwiches or fruits or soups. Lunch and dinner need to be well balanced and include protein rich food, fruits and vegetables.
The food intake for adults is identical to that of teenagers. The only difference is an increase in the amount of fibrous food and a reduction in the quantity of food or portion sizes. There is absolutely no allowance for junk food. Meals should be taken on time starting with a healthy breakfast as soon as you wake up. The last meal of the day should be had no later than 8:00 p.m. Due to modern lifestyles and a dulling of the senses adults tend to dehydrate. We forget how important water is to our bodies so a conscious effort has to be made to consume at least one glass of water every hour or no less than 8 glasses per day.
Age 60 and above nutrition
For this age group I would recommend they eat small meals roughly four to five times a day. By small I mean roughly 30% of the quantity a 40-year old would eat. It would also be a good idea to consult your health professional on including various supplements with your diet. These supplements are required because as we grow older, our body is no longer able to digest food properly which in turn leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.