NUTRITION BALANCE OF SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
28 Jan 2019
School-age children need high energy for growth and activity, but the more intake of food that comes in will cause excess weight. This is because of the imbalance between the calories that enter and the pattern of children's activities. Today, children prefer playing on a smartphone screen or watching videos on internet channels rather than doing physical activities outdoors.
The role of parents also becomes very important in teaching healthy lifestyles to children. Parents are too busy with their work so the child gets less attention. One way to instill a healthy lifestyle in children is to teach early. Children aged 3-5 years are accustomed to imitating the patterns of behavior of their parents.
Children aged 5-12 years already know what food they want and often eat outside the home. Influence from friends and advertisements also begins to influence children in choosing food. Even so parents still have to pay attention to the nutritional content so that the child's growth and development becomes perfect.
Encouraging children to eat healthily must ensure that children maintain a healthy weight. Make sure the whole family also consumes healthy food to set a good example for children. The Ministry of Health issued Decree No. 41 of 2014 concerning Balanced Nutrition Guidelines (PGS), with a special message for groups of school-age children:
a. Get used to eating three times a day (morning, afternoon and evening) with family
Food consumed for body needs such as energy, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fiber. In accordance with the capacity of the digestive system, the arrangement of the food diet is divided into 3 stages, namely breakfast, lunch, night and accompanied by healthy snacks. About 40% of school children do not eat breakfast (breakfast) which results in less optimal learning achievement. To avoid consuming unhealthy and nutritious foods, it is always recommended to eat with family.
b. Get used to eating fish and other protein sources
Animal protein has better quality because the amino acid composition is more complete. Fish is a source of animal protein, including meat and eggs; while tempeh and tofu as a source of vegetable protein. Fish is also a source of unsaturated fatty acids and micronutrients. It is better to consume 30% animal protein and 70% vegetable.
c. Expand to consume vegetables and enough fruits
The types of vegetables and fruits are very diverse, in addition to being a source of vitamins as well as a source of minerals, fiber and antioxidants. However, food consumption is still low, with a new average of 63.3% and 62.1% of the recommended amount.
d. Make it a habit to bring food and water from home
At the time of the child's school schedule until late afternoon, then lunch must meet the requirements in terms of safety, number and diversity. Children tend to be snacks when not carrying food from home, including drinking water. Meanwhile many schools have not been able to provide healthy and safe snacks.
e. Limit eating fast food, snacks and sweet snack foods, salty and fatty
The behavior of eating fast food has become a part of people's lives in urban areas. These foods contain too high sugar, salt and fat associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and heart disease. So that consumption of fast food and snacks should be very limited.
f. Make it a habit to brush your teeth at least twice a day after breakfast and before bed
The rest of the food between the teeth will be used by bacteria that produce acid, which can cause tooth decay. Cleaning teeth after eating and before bed is an attempt to avoid tooth decay or damage.
g. Avoid smoking
Symptoms of early smoking behavior have also begun to be found in school children. Avoiding smoking should be done on active smokers and passive smokers. So that in an environment where many school children must be declared free of cigarette smoke. Smoking can interfere with health such as lung and reproductive health.