Children, Adolescents and Huel

Huel Products have been designed to meet adult requirements for all nutrients at a 2,000-calorie intake. People enjoy using Huel Products for some of their meals as well as having one or two solid meals per day, using Huel Products to help ensure they’re getting a good intake of all nutrients. However, what about children and adolescents who have different nutritional requirements to those of adults?

Huel Products, like any food, are safe for children above 4 years of age to include as part of a balanced, varied diet. Parents of children under 4 years old should consult their doctor or relevant health care professional before allowing their child to consume Huel Products. Huel Products are not suitable for babies or infants below / during weaning age.

Amounts of Huel Products in Different Age Groups

As upper safe limits for vitamins and minerals in children haven’t been evaluated, we suggest children consume Huel Products up to around the recommended requirement levels for their age. The following will give you a guide as to how much of each Huel Product a child or adolescent can include as part of a varied diet whilst encouraging them to eat good wholesome foods every day. If your child has health issues, we recommend you consult your doctor or relevant clinical professional before allowing them to consume Huel Products.

As long as the child is eating sufficient foods from the above food groups, it’s OK for them to include treat foods like fatty and sugary treat foods, but these must not be consumed too often. It is essential to recognise that socialising is important for kids, and if their friends are enjoying treat foods, the odd junk food meal or fatty and sugary snack will not be harmful and may help prevent a child from feeling ‘left out’.

Children Under 4

Huel Products are not suitable for babies or infants below or during weaning age. Parents of children under 4 years old should consult their doctor or relevant health care professional before allowing their child to consume Huel Products.

4 to 6-Year-Olds

Children of 4 to 6 years of age can include up to 1.5 scoops (about 70g) Huel Powder v3.0/Black Edition or half a bottle of Ready-to-drink per day. This is around one quarter of their daily energy requirements and can be a great between-meal snack to ensure your child is getting a range of vitamins and minerals.

7 to 10-Year-Olds

7 to 10-year-olds can enjoy 2.5 scoops (about 120g) of Huel Powder v3.0/Black Edition or one bottle of Ready-to-drink per day, which would give them about a quarter of their daily energy. Huel Products are ideal for fussy kids who won’t eat enough fruit and veg.

11 to 14-Year-Olds

Young adolescents can include 3 scoops (about 140g) of Huel Powder v3.0/Black Edition or a bottle and a half of Ready-to-drink a day. At this growth spurt age, energy requirements are high, especially in active kids.; Huel Products provides a good contribution of protein, energy and vitamins for this age group.

15 to 18-Year-Olds

Older adolescents have, in most cases, nutritional requirements greater than those of adults due to the fact that they’re growing, they’re often physically active and are studying at school or college. This age group can enjoy Huel Products freely as part of a balanced, varied diet.

Optimal Nutrition in Children and Adolescents

Children and adolescents should be encouraged to consume a balanced diet consisting of a variety of different foods including fibrous starchy foods like rice, potatoes, pasta, cereals; meat, fish or high-protein vegetarian alternatives; fruit and veg – at least 5 servings a day; and calcium-rich foods including dairy products or calcium-fortified alternatives. Children and teenagers should eat regularly to fuel growth and mental development as well as providing nutrition for high levels of activity. Good nutrition goes hand in hand with physical activity: kids are encouraged to be active and include some regular exercise, whether it be school sports, walking, cycling or playing out with friends. A healthy child is one who eats well and gets plenty of exercise.

As long as the child is eating sufficient foods from the above food groups, it’s OK for them to include treat foods like fatty and sugary treat foods, but these must not be consumed too often. It is essential to recognise that socialising is important for kids, and if their friends are enjoying treat foods, the odd junk food meal or fatty and sugary snack will not be harmful and may help prevent a child from feeling ‘left out’.

Getting your child to eat a good balanced diet can be an arduous challenge in a modern society where sweets, snacks and fast foods are advertised everywhere and buying them is both easy and affordable. Any parent will know what it’s like trying to get a young child to eat all their vegetables, and most teenagers seem to be either constantly eating junk or have decided to follow a faddy diet, leaving them with insufficient nutrition.

Huel Products can be included as part of a healthy diet for children and adolescents. Flavoured Huel Powders blended with water are a sweet and great tasting, enjoyable meal. If you’re struggling to get your child or teenager to eat healthy food and they insist on eating junk and not enough fruit and veg, then including a Huel Product once or twice a day will help provide some of the good-quality nutrition that they need. Also, our great Huel recipes can be a fun way for your child to enjoy the nutrition of Huel Products.

Energy Requirements

Children’s energy requirements vary hugely, from less than 1,500 calories per day in children under 6 years of age to over 2,800 in older teenagers; the latter being higher than that of an average adult. If a child is very active, then these requirements can be greater, and some kids are just not big eaters, so you need to look at nutritionally sound ways of obtaining sustenance without encouraging too much junk for the sake of calories. Using 1-2 scoop of Huel Powder as an in-between main meal ‘snack’ is a great way of doing this.

Energy requirements (calories per day) for children & adolescents[1]

Age 4 - 6 7 - 10 11 - 14 15 - 18
Males 1386-1577 1649-2032 2127-2629 2820-3155
Females 1291-1482 1482-1936 2032-2342 2390-2462

Macronutrient Requirements

Protein requirements increase with age from 19.7g per day in 4 to 6-year-olds and 28.3g in 7- to 10-year-olds to 0.75g per kg body weight per day in children and adolescents over 10 years and into adulthood. These recommendations cover little more than basic requirements, and typical intakes from a varied Western diet are considerably more. Indeed, active adolescents who partake in regular exercise benefit from a higher intake. 400kcal of Huel Powder v3.0 or Black Edition (2 scoops) provide over 29-40g of protein, while a bottle of Ready-to-drink contains 20g, so they’re a significant contributor to protein intake, especially for fussy eaters or vegetarian children.

Protein requirements for children & adolescents[1, 2]

Age 4 - 6 7 - 10 11 - Adult
Amount 19.7g/day 28.3g/day 0.75g/kg bodyweight

Recommendations state that carbohydrate intake should be 40-50% of total energy intake, therefore the amount of carbs kids eat should be based on their calorie requirements. The bulk of carbohydrate intake should be from fibrous starchy sources like potatoes, rice, pasta, cereals, wholemeal or granary bread and other whole grains, rather than from added sugars. The goal is for sugar intake to be less than 5% of total energy. Huel Powders and Ready-to-drink are low in sugars, and based on oats and/or flaxseed: fibrous sources of starch.

Fat intake advice is also based on energy requirements and should be no more than 35% of total intake. Like adults, children and adolescents are encouraged to consume more of certain types of fats including omega-3 polyunsaturates and monounsaturates. Huel Powder v3.0 provides 30% of its energy from fat and has an ideal fatty acid profile. Huel Black Edition and Ready-to-drink contain slightly more fat than recommended but can still form part of a healthy diet because of the ideal fatty acid profiles.

Fibre Intake

Most kids don’t consume enough fibre. Getting children and adolescents to eat more fruit and veg or fibrous carbohydrate foods can be a difficult task that leaves many parents frustrated. Not only are these foods rich in fibre, but they also contain many essential vitamins and minerals. Lack of fibre in kids can lead to bowel problems and could be a contributing factor in inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and colitis – both of which occur most commonly in adolescents and young adulthood.

Huel Powders are high in fibre with 400kcal providing at least 6g; a significant contribution to the 20g per day recommended for younger children and the 25-30g per day for adolescents. Huel Ready-to-drink contains 5.1-8.2g of fibre, depending on the flavour.

Salt Intake

A lot of junk and convenience foods are high in salt, and some of this is ‘hidden salt’ in not-so-obvious foods. Consequently, like adults, children are encouraged to reduce their salt intake. Suggested upper intakes are 3g per day for 4- 6-year-olds, 5g per day for 7- 10-year-olds and 6g per day for over-11s. 400kcal of Huel Powder v3.0 or Ready-to-drink would provide around 0.7g of salt while Black Edition would provide 1g.

Vitamin & Mineral Intakes

The table below shows the recommended intakes of vitamins and minerals (for those that recommended intake figures exist) for boys and girls of different ages, as well as how much of each micronutrient is provided by one scoop of Huel Powder v3.0/Black Edition and one bottle of Ready-to-drink.

Requirements increase with age, with the amounts in adolescents being the same as in adults, and for many micronutrients, the adolescent requirements are actually higher than for adults. For instance, calcium is higher because these are the bone-building years, and a good intake from 11 years of age through until adulthood may actually help prevent the onset of osteoporosis later in life; indeed, although the adult requirements are the same for males and females (800mg per day) females may actually require higher amounts right up to their late 20s. The calcium amount in Huel Products (per 2000kcal) is higher than the 800mg per day suggested for adults in the UK, more than covering the amount required for adolescents.

From menarche (the onset of menstruation), adolescent and adult females have a higher requirement for iron than males, and even the requirement of 14.8mg per day may not even be enough for females who have particularly large menstrual bleeds. 2,000 calories of Huel Products per day provides more than enough iron.

Suggested daily requirements for boys for vitamins and minerals for which there are figures[1] compared to how much of each is in one scoop of Huel Powder v3.0/Black Edition and one Ready-to-drink bottle

4-6 7-10 11-14 15-18 Per v3.0 scoop (50g) Per Black Edition scoop (45g) Per RTD bottle
Vitamin A (mcg) 400 500 600 700 90 90 180
Vitamin D (mcg) 10 10 10 10 2 2 5
Vitamin C (mg) 30 30 35 40 30 30 60
Thiamin (mg) 0.7 0.7 0.9 1.1 0.12 0.12 0.2
Riboflavin (mg) 0.8 1 1.2 1.3 0.14 0.14 0.3
Niacin (mg) 11 12 15 18 1.6 1.6 0.2
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.9 1 1.2 1.5 0.17 0.17 0.3
Folate (mcg) 100 150 200 200 40 40 80
Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.8 1 1.2 1.5 0.4 0.4 0.8
Potassium (mg) 1100 2000 3100 3500 350 320 940
Chloride (mg) 1100 1800 2500 2500 80 80 460
Calcium (mg) 450 550 1000 1000 130 130 260
Phospherus (mg) 350 450 775 775 182 130 280
Magnesium (mg) 120 200 280 300 45 44 84
Iron (mg) 6.1 8.7 11.3 11.3 4 3.8 5
Zinc (mg) 6.5 7 9 9.5 1.8 1.85 2.2
Copper (mg) 0.6 0.7 0.8 1 0.13 0.25 0.2
Selenium (mcg) 20 30 45 70 10 15 11
Iodine (mcg) 100 110 130 140 15 15 30

Suggested daily requirements for girls for vitamins and minerals for which there are figures[1] compared to how much of each is in one scoop of Huel Powder v3.0/Black Edition and one Ready-to-drink bottle

4-6 7-10 11-14 15-18 Per v3.0 scoop (50g) Per Black Edition scoop (45g) Per RTD bottle
Vitamin A (mcg) 400 500 600 600 90 90 180
Vitamin D (mcg) 10 10 10 10 2 2 5
Vitamin C (mg) 30 30 35 40 30 30 60
Thiamin (mg) 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.12 0.12 0.2
Riboflavin (mg) 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.1 0.14 0.14 0.3
Niacin (mg) 11 12 12 14 1.6 1.6 0.2
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.2 0.17 0.17 0.3
Folate (mcg) 100 150 200 200 40 40 80
Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.5 0.4 0.4 0.8
Potassium (mg) 1100 2000 3100 3500 350 320 940
Chloride (mg) 1100 1800 2500 2500 80 80 460
Calcium (mg) 450 550 800 800 130 130 260
Phospherus (mg) 350 450 625 625 182 130 280
Magnesium (mg) 120 200 280 300 45 44 84
Iron (mg) 6.1 8.7 14.8 14.8 4.0 3.8 5
Zinc (mg) 6.5 7.0 9.0 7.0 1.8 1.85 2.2
Copper (mg) 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0 0.13 0.25 0.2
Selenium (mcg) 20 30 45 60 10 15 11
Iodine (mcg) 100 110 130 140 15 15 30

In many children, food intake isn’t varied and is often high in empty calorie foods, i.e. foods that contain calories, but little in the way of micronutrients. By including Huel Products, you can be sure that a good contribution of requirements for all vitamins and minerals is being met. Also, as Huel Products are based on natural ingredients and topped up with a vitamin and mineral blend, by including it as part of a healthy balanced diet for your child, you need not be concerned about excess consumption of any nutrient if intake is at recommended amounts.

References

  1. British Nutrition Foundation. Nutrition Requirements. 2016. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/article/234/Nutrition%20Requirements_Revised%20Oct%202016.pdf.
  2. Dietary reference values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom. Report of the Panel on Dietary Reference Values of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy. Reports on health and social subjects. 1991; 41:1-210.

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