Carbohydrates for children

Carbohydrates characteristics

What are carbohydrates?


legumes such as lentils are rich in carbohydrates

What are carbohydrates for?

Carbohydrates provide energy. Thanks to them, we get instant energy for the body what allows us to live and perform our daily work.

Carbohydrates are made up of glucose. Glucose is found in the blood and it is used by all cells for energy. They are a source of is slow and durable energy.

Therefore, carbohydrates are very important and we must include them in all meals.

Where do we get the carbs from?

Carbohydrates provide the energy needed to perform different daily activities

Most carbohydrates come from plant foods. They are very abundant in cereals such as rice, wheat or corn, and the food we get from them, such as bread, biscuits, breakfast cereals, pasta, etc..

Legumes are also rich in carbohydrates. Among them we have soy, beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.

Types of carbohydrates


Cereals, like rice, are rich in carbohydrates

Different types of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can be

  • Simple carbohydrates or sugars: They are absorbed very quickly so, when you eat them, you do not feel so satiated. as when you ingest complex carbohydrates that take longer to be absorbed. Among them we have, for example: sugar, refined or sugary foods, chocolate, cakes, etc.
  • Complex carbohydrates: They take longer to be absorbed, so, when you ingest them, you feel satiated for longer that when you eat simple carbohydrates. Consequently, It is important to eat more complex carbohydrates. Among this group, we have, for example: whole grains, pasta, vegetables, starches etc.



Potatoes are rich in starch, a type of complex carbohydrates very convenient in our diet.

How many carbohydrates should we eat daily?

  • Adults need from 6 to 8 daily rations of carbohydrates.
  • For children from 3 to 6 years the ration would be a little more than half of the portion of an adult.
  • For children from 7 to 8 years the ration would be about a third less than for an adult
  • For teens, the ration would be a third more than the ration of an adult.

Among the carbohydrates, we must eat cereals and legumes in every meal. We should vary its consumption daily. Thus, these types of carbohydrates give us energy we need.

Recommendations in carbohydrate intake

sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are also rich in starch

When eating foods rich in carbohydrates it is recommended:

  • Increase the whole carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, pasta or rice.
  • Reduce the refined products such as refined cereals or refined flour.
  • Do not consume excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates, for example sugars.
  • In the case of simple carbohydrates, preferably choose those food sources that, besides providing simple sugars, they also provide vitamins and minerals, such as fruits. Restrict “empty sugars ” as candies.
  • Carbohydrates are the main source of energy from food.
  • It is important to eat 6 to 8 servings of carbohydrates daily.
  • We must eat different carbohydrate containing foods and choose whole food.
  • Simple carbohydrates or sugars should be eaten in smaller quantities than the complex carbohydrates

nutrients characteristics

Characteristics of nutrients

child feeding course sign

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punto rojo More information on nutrition.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 September, 2021

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