Food and Nutrition
Nutrition for Students

Importance of Healthy Nutrition:

Provides the body with the necessary daily energy;
Maintains all body functions;
Essential for the growth and development of the human body. 

Balanced Diet:
A balanced diet contains different nutrients from all the basic food groups. These nutrients should be provided in sufficient quantities that fulfill the body's essential needs.

What Does a Balanced Diet Look Like?
  1. It contains all kinds of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, mineral salts, and water.
  2. It is obtained in sufficient quantities that fulfill the needs of a student's body and suit his level of energy.
  3. It is clean to prevent food poisoning.

Food Groups:
They are groups of foods that share nutritional properties or biological classifications.
There are five basic food groups. Each group provides important nutrients to the body. 

The Five Food Groups:
The food groups system is based on classifying foods into groups that have similar components, including: 
  • Grains and Their Products: They are important sources of energy and fibers. This group includes bread, pasta, wheat, corn, barley, oats, rice and pasta. At least half of your total grain consumption should be whole grains. They are excellent sources of fibers and contain types of B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. They include whole wheat, oats, or oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa. It is recommended to eat 6 to 11 servings per day. Each serving should be equivalent to one slice of bread or half a cup of rice or pasta.
  • Vegetables: This group is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to eat 3 to 5 servings per day of various vegetables. One serving should be equivalent to 1 cup of leafy vegetables, or half a cup of other vegetables, whether raw or cooked.
  • Fruits: This group includes fruits of all kinds. Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as dates and fresh and dried fruits. It is recommended to eat 2 to 4 servings per day. A serving may consist of half a cup of fruit slices and three quarters a cup of unsweetened fruit juice, or a medium-sized whole fruit (such as an apple, banana, or pear).
  • Proteins: This group includes foodstuffs that are basic sources of protein. They are necessary for building the body, fighting diseases, and repairing damaged cells. They can be found in animal source foods, such as:  Chicken, beef, fish, eggs, milk, and dairy products. Protein is also found in leguminous plants such as beans, lentils, and green beans. It is recommended to eat 2 to 3 servings per day of various kinds of protein.
  • Milk and Dairy Products: This group includes milk and various dairy products, whether in a liquid form (such as milk), or in solid form (such as cheese). This group provides high quantities of protein, calcium, and vitamins. It is recommended to eat 2 to 3 servings a day of milk and its products. A serving equals one cup of milk or yogurt.

Benefits of Healthy Nutrition for School-Age Children:
  • Strengthens bodies’ immunity against diseases;
  • Improves health and physical and mental performance;
  • Strengthens memory and improves level of intelligence; which helps increase academic achievement.

The importance of breakfast:
School students’ bodies desperately need daily breakfast as they do not get enough nutritious food during the day. This important meal should not be ignored, especially in the early stages of life. In a child’s early years, there is an increase in physical and mental development, which requires more nutrition. The benefits of breakfast are as follows: 
  • It increases the child's concentration and comprehension; which improves academic achievement;
  • It provides the body with the energy needed for physical activity;
  • It helps a child maintain a healthy weight by avoiding overeating throughout the day;
  • It helps a child maintain stay within the range of his ideal weight. 

Water:
The human body is made up of 70% water. It is present in all cells and tissues. It is also essential for digestion and absorption. Additionally, it helps maintain the temperature of the body through sweat. It is recommended to drink enough quantities of water daily. Water intake varies from a person to another according to the nature of the body, the season of the year, and the type of activities that a person does.

What Is the Importance of Water?
  • Improves the immune system;
  • Helps you think better;
  • Helps you lose weight;
  • Improves the functions of your digestive system and reduces constipation;
  • Rids your body of toxins and gives the skin a fresh look;
  • Boosts energy levels and raises production rates of muscles and blood cells;
  • Reduces dehydration in your body;
  • Regulates your temperature; which helps you feel energized at all times;
  • Helps your kidneys get rid of kidney stones;
  • Keeps your mouth moist, eliminating the bad breath caused by a dry mouth.
How Much Water Is Enough for Children?
The daily amount of water a child needs depends on several factors (such as: age, weight, gender, air temperature, humidity, activity level, and child's overall health). Generally, these recommendations are intended for healthy children who live in temperate climates, bearing in mind that these recommended amounts include all liquids consumed, whether water or other drinks. These amounts also include foods that contain good amounts of fluids, like some fruits.
Age
Gender
Recommended Daily Intake
4 - 8 years old
Boys and girls
7 cups per day
​​
9 - 13 years old
Girls
9 cups per day
Boys
10 cups per day
14 - 18 years old
Girls
10 cups per day
Boys
14 cups per day

What Harms Do Sodas and Energy Drinks Cause?
  • Perimolysis
  • Migraines
  • Ulcers and inflammations in the lining of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Increased heart rate and high blood pressure

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