In these days when face-to-face education continues in schools, the frequency of flu and colds may increase in children, especially due to the seasonal transition. In addition to the flu and colds due to seasonal changes, the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic brings the nutrition of school children to a more important point. The Sabri Ülker Foundation emphasizes that it is very important to provide a diet to support immunity, especially during this period.
School age is a period in which both physiological, psychological and social development are rapid. In this period, the behaviors that can continue throughout life are largely kazanConsidering the fact that healthy eating and lifestyle habits are given to children and young people, kazanIt is important for the sustainability of healthy living awareness and the prevention of diseases in adulthood. The best measure that can be taken to protect children from coronavirus and other disease factors is to support children's immunity.
A nutritious breakfast is a must
Breakfast is very important because it is the meal where the first energy intake takes place after the night's hunger. Skipping this meal on school days is a common malnutrition behavior. Studies show that 3% of the oxygen taken into the body by children aged 11-50 is used by the brain. It is known that with a healthy breakfast meal, children's in-school success and course concentration increase. Because the brain uses glucose as an energy source, it is important not to skip meals in school-age children. The following points should be considered in the nutrition of school-age children:
- Having 1 egg in the breakfast of children due to its high protein quality,
- Having a food from the milk group in their breakfast,
- The presence of oily seeds such as hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds, which contain high energy value and healthy fats, in daily meals,
- Consuming different kinds of seasonal fruits and vegetables,
- Enriching breakfast with whole grain group foods
- Offering options that they can choose to encourage breakfast.
A healthy diet is one of the most important preventive measures that reduce children's risk of developing health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, iron deficiency and dental caries.
Physical activity should not be neglected
Another important factor is providing a healthy, adequate and balanced diet as well as physical activity. Physical activity supports the body to be more resistant to diseases. In addition, it helps the development of the musculoskeletal system, especially in school-age children who are in the growth and development period. Physical activity is very important especially for the development of cardio-respiratory functions, supporting muscle strength and muscular endurance. Therefore, it is recommended to limit children's screen time and direct them to physical activity.
Benefits of Adequate Sleep
Another factor that affects the strength of the immune system of children is sleep. Adequate sleep contributes to children's general health, while helping to increase their concentration and academic success. Children who do not get enough sleep may increase the risk of encountering health problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. For sleep duration for children and adolescents, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends that children between the ages of 6 and 12 get 9-12 hours of sleep daily, and children between the ages of 13-18 get 8-10 hours of sleep daily.