Children go through phenomenal growth and development during their early years. They produce more than a billion new cells each day and it takes a lot of nutrients to support this rapid growth. Young tissues and organ systems need energy and the right balance of nutrients to develop properly. For example, children’s immature immune systems are constantly exposed to bacteria and viruses, and many nutrients have been shown to support immune system response.
This is also a time when cognitive skills and personalities are developing, and scientific studies have found links between levels of certain nutrients and mental performance and mood.
Rapid physical growth and mental development during childhood and adolescence requires and increased supply of both energy and nutrients to keep the body’s metabolic pathways running smoothly. Because their metabolic rates are on average so high, nutrient abundance and balance are particularly essential during these early stages of life. It is also vital that children acquire the right dietary behavioural patterns so that good food habits will continue through adult life.