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Changing Nutritional Requirements for Children

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2534 words Published: 30th Oct 2017

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Ubah A adan

1. The food for babies in the United Kingdom is normally set on particular guidelines, which must be followed in order for the babies to develop in a normal and healthy way.

The First six months. Infant normally feed on breast milk or infant formula. For the first six months breast milk is most nutritious and highly recommended. It contains a unique mix of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, lactose, amino acid, enzymes and others.

Important factors that combine they make perfect food for babies, its nutritious and easy for digestion. It has every thing baby needs, Brain development, healthy growth and protection from illnesses.

If the mother chooses not breastfeed the baby, best option available is infant formula.

Introducing solid food to the baby should only start after six months. It’s recommended by health practitioners and also the government policy in the UK, but if the baby feels hungry so often weaning can start before six months but only with foods recommended by an infant nutritionist.

There are foods which must be avoided at all cost for example:

  • shellfish
  • eggs
  • fish
  • liver
  • nuts
  • wheat and gluten
  • seeds
  • unpasteurised and soft cheese
  • salt
  • sugar
  • honey and whole nuts

6 to 9 months

When the weaning is started a baby’s diet should include the following types of foods:

  • milk and dairy
  • fruit and vegetables
  • meat and fish
  • egg and beans
  • pasta and rice
  • starchy foods

There are many types of prepared baby foods and cereals that have been specially designed for babies, but these foods can also be easily prepared and pureed at home with the use of a food blender, frozen individually into ice cube trays and used as needed.

9 months +

The recommended guidelines for servings of solid food portions at this age are:

  • 2 servings per day of meat, fish, eggs or pulses
  • 3-4 servings per day of fruits and vegetables
  • 3-4 servings per day of potatoes, bread and rice

Formula or breast milk can still be given along with healthy fruit and cereal snacks.


The Department of Health advises that although children should get the required amount of vitamins from their food, they may be lacking in vitamin A, C and D which can be supplemented in the form of vitamin drops.

Vitamin A: helps children to see in dim light, supports and strengthens the immune system, and ensures healthy skin is maintained.

Vitamin C: helps with the absorption of iron, and supports the immune system.

Vitamin D: helps to strengthen bones, and assists with the absorption of calcium.


There are many different food types which are considered to be unsuitable for babies and young children. Parents and childcare providers must be very careful the food that is cooked for the children, and the once that is ready made.


Babies don’t need salt. Their kidneys are too immature to cope with any added salt; even the small amount of salt can damage their kidneys. Therefore salt should never be added to any food that is cooked for a baby.

The guidelines provided by the food standards Agency for salt consumption for children are:


Guideline salt intake (g/d)

0-6 months

Less than 1

7-12 months


1-3 years


4-6 years


7-10 years


11 years+



Honey contains bacteria which can produce toxin in a baby’s intestine leading to infant botulism which is a very serious illness. It’s best not to give babies honey until they over 1 year old. Honey is a sugar so avoiding it will also help to prevent tooth decay.


Baby doesn’t need sugar by avoiding it you will prevent tooth delay and unnecessary weight gain. Sugar causes tooth decay in young children and can be easily prevented. By avoiding sugary drinks and snakes you will help to prevent tooth decay. Children should be encouraged to drink milk and water.


Whole nuts including peanuts should not be given to the children under the age of five, as they can choke on them. As long as there is no history of food allergies or other allergies in the baby’s family they can consume peanuts once they are six months old as long as they are crushed or grounded.


Fat is an important source of calories and some vitamins for babies and young children. It’s better for babies and young children under 2 to have full fat milk, yogurts and cheeses. After the age of two; amount of fat in diet can be gradually decreased.


Eggs can be given to children over the age of 6 months, yolks and whites should be well cooked to reduce the risk of salmonella infection.


Raw shellfish can increase the risk of food poisoning and are considered to be potentially allergenic foods it also harbours salmonella bacteria. So it’s best to avoid it.


It is best to avoid these foods as the amount of mercury in these fish can affect a baby’s growing nervous system.


When children come together at meal or snack time everyone should be eating the same foods. However, there are some circumstances in which some children cannot eat the same foods. For example of some special dietary needs including:

  • Sugar in all forms may be limited for a diabetic child.
  • Fats and cholesterol may be limited for overweight children.
  • Specific foods or additive may cause allergic reactions in some children.
  • Cultural or religious preference may restrict specific foods.

Any dietary needs should be identified and documented and it’s important that staffs are trained in the importance of sticking to these needs or restrictions. Some food allergies can be life threatening all staff should know the specific food or ingredient restrictions, possible consequences and symptoms of food reactions and recommended first aid.

Any dietary requirements should be gained from parents and recorded and any food allergies documentation should be request from the child’s doctor.

Some children in child care have cultural and religious food preferences the child care provider and the parents need to work together in order to make sure that children with especial dietary needs receive appreciate foods.

Examples of some cultural and religion practice:





Seventh day Adventist

No pork or seafood eaten.


Mainly vegetarian.


Vegetarian but some Buddhists will not eat garlic or onions.


Only Halal food.


Vegetarian or vegan


Only Kosher food

When recording special dietary requirements, there are many types of information that should be documented for example:

  • child’s name
  • parents name and address
  • emergency contact
  • emergency instructions should ingestion of an allergic food occur
  • necessary medication
  • doctor or health professionals name address, telephone number
  • parental and childcare provider signature

In the case of emergency medication being required the childcare provider should have this information documented on a separate medical form and keep the medication in a locked container.

A Child record form for a new child joining a home at child care setting with specific dietary requirement may look as followed:

Childs name


Anna Ahmed

12 long Henry row

Sheffield s2 99

South Yorkshire

Parents name


Lisa Ahmed mother

Same address as above




Telephone number and

Emergency contact number


emergency contact 078482868

Is the child have any food allergies or medical conditions

No food allergies.

Medical condition DIABETES


Instructions should ingestion of an allergic food occur


Necessary medications


Doctor or Health professionals



Telephone number

Dr peter surgery 123 Sheffield


Telephone 2222222

Description of especial need

Diet requirements

No sugary food or drinks

Halal diet

No pork or pork product

Meat must be halal

Food that containing animal fats are not eaten

Parents signature/ child care providers signature


Care provider


There are many health problems during infant and childhood, but mostly they are mild and they do not interfere with their daily life and development. For some children however chronic health conditions affect everyday life throughout their childhood, Including asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy.


Asthma is a long term condition that can cause a cough, wheezing and breathlessness. The severity of the symptoms is different from person to person. Approximately 1 in 10 children being affected asthma in the UK.

The cause of asthma is not fully understood, however trigger can bring symptoms of asthma, and anything that irritates the airways brings on symptoms of asthma. These are different from person to person and people with asthma may have several triggers.

Triggers include house dust, animal fur, pollen, tobacco smoke and others.

Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways these are the small tubes called bronchi which carry air in and out of the lungs.

If you have asthma the bronchi will be flamed and will be more sensitive than normal.

Asthma may also affect children emotionally as the attacks may be frightening them.


Diabetes is life long conditions that cause persons blood sugar level to become too high. In the UK approximately 2.8million people are affected by diabetes. There are two types of diabetes type 1 and type 2.

*Type1 is usually diagnosed in adolescence and is controlled insulin injections.

* Type 2 is usually diagnosed in adulthood and is controlled by diet and tablets.

Symptoms common to both types of diabetes are weight loss, feeling very tired and feeling very thirsty and urinating frequency.


Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition in which lungs and digestive system become clogged with the thick sticky mucus.

Symptoms start in early childhood and include cough, chest infections and poor weight. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis so the aim of the treatment is to ease the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.

Treatments include therapies, diet, medication, exercise and physiotherapy to remove mucus from the lungs.


Cerebral palsy is a general term covering a number of neurological conditions that effect a child’s movements and coordination.

Neurological conditions affect the brain and nervous system. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain which normally occurs before, during or soon after birth.

It is estimated that 1 in every 400 children in UK is effected by Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can put a great deal of strain on the body which can cause problems in later life. There is no cure cerebral palsy but the many of treatment can help relieve symptoms and increase child’s independent and self-esteem.

These include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and medications.














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