Nutritional needs differ with individual’s stage in the life. For instance, nutritional demands for an adult person are greater compared to those for elderly who are at inactive stage in life due to declined physiological processes. Planning diet for a family with different age composition sometimes becomes a great challenge because household members’ nutritional demands are not the same. On the other hand, different stages of lifecycle pose differing nutritional problems that require specific approaches when addressing them.
Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to discuss how nutritional needs varies throughout the lifecycle, and possible gastrointestinal disease processes affecting multigenerational family, nutritional challenges faced when providing nutritional counseling to a family with different age composition and tips to ensure household members food and nutritional needs are met. Nutrition in lifecycle The best food to be given an infant of less than six months is breast milk. Breast milk is a complete whole meal that which is nutritionally adequate and readily available.
Beyond six months of age breast milk is not sufficient to growing infant’s nutritional needs. There is need to introduce solid foods that would provide iron and other nutrients to support grow. Solid food at six months of age need to be introduced as baby’s digestive system is capable to digest it (Williams & Schlenker, 2003). Children between five and twelve years are very active and require food and nutrients that will help in development of strong teeth and bones, muscles and a healthy body.
At this stage some of the children feed with a lot of difficulties. Thus the diet need to be well tailored through carefully planning to ensure energy and nutrients needs are sufficiently provided. Children at this stage they requires small but regular nutrient dense meals. At adolescence stage, teenager diet should be able to sustain growth and promote good health because there are several physiological changes that occur and have implications on their nutritional needs.
Adult stage has little development and therefore, eating nutritious and being physically active is vital to reduce problems result increased aging process or premature deaths. In old age, there are declined physiological functions and changes that affect ingestion, digestion and absorption of nutrients. Psychological factors also have effect on elderly nutritional status (http://www. bbc. co. uk/health/healthy_living/nutrition/life_diettipsoldage1. shtml, n. d).
Possible gastrointestinal disease processes in multi-generational family Different types of gastrointestinal diseases are likely to be found in any households. Diarrhea is one of the most common gastrointestinal conditions that may be found. It is condition caused by different infectious agents such as virus, bacteria, and parasite. Lactose intolerance may also be a common condition especially among the children. It is contributed by decreased presence of lactase enzymes that are responsible for digestion of lactose sugar.
Malabsorption syndromes are common especially among the elderly due to decreased function of digestive tract. Gastroesophageal reflux disease which is characterized by the contents of the stomach moving back into the esophagus is also common gastrointestinal condition. Constipation is also a very common gastrointestinal disorder throughout the lifecycle which is characterized by a decrease in frequency of the bowel movement. It is caused by lack of sufficient fiber in the diet or excessive use of laxatives (Reinhard, 2002).