There are special characteristics of the diet of children, they are as follows:
1. A survey conducted in different parts of our country shows that children are widely suffering from malnutrition due to lack of nutritive elements in their diet. They specially need nutritive diet for their primary growth because their growth process is continuous. Keeping this fact in perspective they need protein in larger quantities.
Secondly, they need protein in larger quantities in comparison to the adults because protein is needed for the repair of the tissues, which are damaged due to their ever continuing activeness. But sadly proteins are not available in India to the children.
2. They need more energy for their activities; therefore, to produce more energy they need fats, and carbohydrates in adequate quantities.
3. In addition to proteins fats and carbohydrates the children of all ages need vitamins and minerals for protection.
4. Milk is almost a complete and ideal food and contains most of the proximate principles of a well balanced diet. We get energy giving elements such as proteins and calcium as well as fats and carbohydrates. We get vitamin ‘A’ and ‘D’ from milk.
5. Normally the dietary requirements of girls and boys differ. This difference can be due to the physical structure, height and type of work. The energy requirement of girls is less than boys.