We cannot clearly define the age limit for the school going children. Here the ‘school going’ word is used for children between seven to I twelve years of age.
During this age, there is a steady growth in the child but the growth rate is slow as compared to the previous years. Physical capacity of the child grows. Mental ability is increased along with the increase in School-going physical activities.
In this period, children imitate their elders and friends. Therefore, food habits are largely influenced by them. In 8 -10 years of age the children feel hungrier. They eat sufficient amount of food but due to extreme restlessness they don’t want to waste their time in having food. Factors such as school work, emotional tension, and fatigue due to playing for long hours affect their appetite.
Growth pattern in school-going children
Differentiation of growth and development on the basis of sex start to appears at the age of ten. Growth in girls is faster as compared to boys. There is more growth of muscular tissues and less of fatty tissues in boys as compared to girls. Sexual differences once started in this period remain as same up to adulthood.
Bones become mature in this period and temporary teeth are replaced by permanent teeth. As the body grows the amount of blood also increases.
Recommended nutritional requirements of school-going children are given in Table 7.4. This is divided into two groups, i.e., 7-9 years and 10-12 years.
Various characteristics of school-going children clearly affect their requirement of nutrients. In this period, in addition to growth and development the nutrients are required for vigorous activities. Following nutrients are particularly important in these years:
Amount of energy required is affected by growth rate. Composition of body also affects the requirement of energy. Boys have more of muscular tissues and less of fats as compared to girls. Requirement of energy in boys is more on account of hyperactivity of muscular tissues.
Proteins are helpful in growth. This period is the time of continuous growth. Hence, proteins are required in higher proportion.
Amount of blood increases with the growth of the body it is followed by the increase in the number of blood capillaries. More iron is required for red blood corpuscles.
More and more of calcium keeps on depositing in the skeleton as it grows and makes bones stronger and more rigid. Similarly, calcium also gets deposited in permanent teeth. So calcium should be given in sufficient amount to school-going children.
With the increase in age daily recommended requirements of energy, protein, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin also increases. Recommended daily amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin A remain same for both boys and girls during the school-going stage.
In addition to all this, emphasis should also be laid on the requirement of liquids. More physical activities cause more perspiration and results in the loss of water and minerals like sodium, potassium, etc., from the body.
A child develops his likes and dislikes by the time he attains school age. But this will become permanent is not certain. The children must eat all types of foodstuffs.
Children’s diet is not different from the adults. Only the quantity of food given to them is less. Hence, children can be served the same food that cooked for the other members of family. Amount of food for the child should be determined on the basis of his capacity to eat. Number of meals to be largely depends on the daily routine o| child. In this period, five meals four meals are included in the diet plan child, e.g., breakfast, packed lunch, t evening tea, and dinner. Meal time, and form of meal can be changed accord the school timings
Generally children their breakfast in hurry as they feel hungry in school and lo tersest in studies breakfast should balanced and in sufficient amount, should have enough time for hi breakfast. It should not be very as it may cause laziness.
Packed lunch is important in the diet of a school-going He appreciates the variety in packed Special attention should be given planning it. Packed lunch should be convenient to cook, carry, and eat. If why, it is cooked in dry form. But it is ensured that the food remains soft1 not very dry.
A proper lunch box with compartments for different dishes is used for packing food. To make tiffin more nutritive, foods! Vegetable phi, puma, vegetable switches, stuffed piranhas, potato or palace chelae, egg buns, palace pure dry dal, vegetable cowmen, etc. is be packed in lunch box.
Lunch and dinner
Lunch and di should be completely balanced; dishes can be served in dinner as pared to lunch and breakfast because child can eat it in a more relaxed manner.
Light meals can be ser in the evening tea like tike, bon sprouted dal, chat, biscuits, cakes, and Drinks can be helpful in supplement? This meal
On the basis of these facts we can give nutritive diet to a school going child. 1(example, the diet plan of a ten years-old c’ is given on Page 253.