Growing older is inevitable. It’s something that just happens, and not something we really have the power to do much about. That being said, there’s always something that can be done to make sure we do it well. This blog post is all about the main nutrients you need as you age, and how they help you age well.

0-6 months

There’s a huge amount of growth at this stage. Fortunately, the nutrients babies need can easily be found in breast milk, which is why a lot of experts recommend breastfeeding until at least six months. We do however know that for a lot of women and babies, breastfeeding can be tough. If that’s the case for you, a carefully chosen and well-prepared infant formula should work as a good substitute.

A cup of breast milk contains 11g of fat, 34mg of cholesterol, 42mg of sodium, 125mg of potassium, 17g of carbohydrate, 2.5g of protein, and good amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C.

6-12 months

As a baby grows, their nutritional needs do also. If possible, it is advised to continue with breast milk and add in other solid foods to meet their increased needs. The most recommended nutrients to add in are: iron and zinc.

If you can make your own baby food that’s great, as you want to minimise your baby’s exposure to salt and sugar, which are harder to control in pre-made foods.

1-10 years

This might seem like a wide age range to cover (and it is!). The simple rule is that the need for vitamins, proteins, and minerals is only going to continue as children age. As children become teenagers, they experience growth spurts, so it’s important that they can build up nutrition stores to prepare. Avoid excess sugar and try to fill their diets with predominantly nutrient-dense foods.

10-13 years

Once again, the emphasis should be on nutrient-rich foods. Because this is when a lot of growing takes place, much like in the 0-6 month period, it’s important to make sure kids are eating the right amounts and the right foods. While fast food and sugary food is bound to happen, try to make it the smaller part of the diet.

14-30 years

As growth slows, there’ll be less of a need for fat, and salt intake should also be reduced. While fat intake is cut back on, it’s still important to get calcium, so reduced fat foods and drinks are helpful. Make sure to get enough iron (it’s not just in meat, it’s in spinach and other greens too)!

50+ years

For women this is a time of going through menopause; for both men and women, this is a time when appetite is reduced and it’s easy to lose muscle mass. Staying active regularly is important, but diet is critical. Go for high-fiber, low-fat, low-salt foods, and choose what to eat not based on calorie content, but based on nutritional content. Minimise intake of sugary food and drink.

It’s important to harness the medicinal power of food and diet. Health is wealth.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams