At any stage in life it is extremely important to have good nutrition. Everyone requires similar nutrients in life. However, the amounts required vary as per the age and your diet need not necessarily meet the nutrient requirements that are essential for different stages of life, that is, from childhood to an adult.
The early years of life are the ones in which rapid development and growth takes place. Studies have revealed that the weight of infants doubles at the end of six months and increases by three times at the end of 12 months. Since infants cannot consume calories equivalent to adults, their diets require a higher content of fat in them. It is said that fats provide double the calories as provided by proteins or carbohydrates.
Fats also contain necessary fatty acids which help in the proper development of the brain. Infants also require regular consumption of Vitamin D which helps in building strong teeth and bones. This can only be provided from additional feeding of supplements which are rich in Vitamin D as breast milk contains low quantities of this vitamin.
From about 12 months the growth of a child slows down a bit. Thus, the nutrition required by toddlers change as they grow up. Children at this stage need 1,400 calories in a day. So it is advised that at this stage of growth you can give them full-cream cow’s milk or even soy beverages to maintain their calorie requirements.
A child requires lower amounts of fats in food from two years of age. Between two to three years of age children require a daily consumption of a minimum of 16 ounces of milk. The nutrition requirement of milk increases further from four to eight years making it necessary for children to consume a minimum of 20 ounces of milk in a day or supplements that provide them with nutrients equivalent to milk.
Milk is known to provide calcium and Vitamin D which is extremely necessary for the proper growth of bones. Everybody from 1 to 70 years of age should ideally consume 600 IU of Vitamin D, every day. It has been found that five glasses of eight ounce milk provide this necessary amount of vitamin D which may be a little difficult to consume. Therefore, it is suggested by American Academy of Pediatrics that children who consume lesser than 32 ounces of milk which includes vitamin D on a daily basis require supplements of Vitamin D to match the nutrition required for proper growth.