The Nutritional Needs of Preteens

The preteen kid (a child who is between 10 and 13 years of age) has specific nutritional needs. Keeping the prêteen well nourished is essential if you want the child to do well in school.

Feed your child based on the USDA food pyramid and make sure that –

• Half of your children's intake of carbs is grains and that boys are getting 5 ounces and that girls are getting six ounces
• A variety of vegetables are consumed as a source of vitamins and fiber with girls over 10 needing 2 cups of vegetables a day and boys needing 2 and ½ cups of vegetables
• Girls and boys over ten should have between one and one and ½ cups of fruit a day.
• Both boys and girls should have three servings of dairy products every day
• Boys and girls both need five ounces of meat per day
• As is true with younger children, pretends may not be getting enough calcium. Calcium helps ensure the proper formation of bones and teeth.
• The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that children between the ages of 10 and 19 should be getting at least 1300 milligrams of calcium every day.

Children that are allergic to cow's milk protein, or vegan, will need to find an alternative source of calcium. Some great foods high in calcium include cheese, soy milk, rice milk, salmon and broccoli

Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption. 200 IUs of vitamin D everyday will help calcium to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, ensuring that your child gets the most out of his calcium intake.

As school age kids develop healthy foods adults eat, along with more vitamins and minerals to support growing bodies. This means whole grains (whole wheat, oats, barley, rice, millet, quinoa); a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables; calcium for growing bones (milk, yogurt, or substitutes if lactose intolerant); and healthy proteins (fish, eggs, poultry, lean meat, nuts, and seeds).

Healthy fats are also important at this age as the brain is developing. There are two types that your child should be consuming.

• Monounsaturated fats, from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, and seeds
• Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, or in unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and walnuts.

Pre adolescents should also avoid feed with vegetable shortenings, some margarine, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.