Already after the first year of age it is possible to feed your child with different types of food, cooking them in a delicate way, avoiding fried food and heavy seasoning as well as salt. It is important to start off early in educating your children on different tastes, letting them sample gradually and with moderation different foods. His/her diet should be various and cover all nutrient requirements. Your child needs the right quantities of proteins for growing which can be found partially in meats, fish, eggs, cheese and vegetables.
At this stage of life the right amount of vitamins (especially vitamins C, D and the B vitamins) and mineral salts (calcium, iron and iodine) should not lack. There is also an elevated need of energy and nutrients during adolescence, in particular of proteins, iron, calcium and vitamins A, C and D, important substances which can be found in foodstuff. A ham sandwich can be a simple snack (140 kcal), well digestible and rich in all necessary nutrients for the growth.
Apart of a small percentage of children with particular disorders, to most of the children meat products can be served especially during main meals or as component of substantial snacks. A ministerial researche confirms that many Italian children are overweight as they live a sedentary lazy life with bad alimentary habits. A ham sandwich represents a far more valuable snack than the nowadays given sweets (brioches, pastries etc.) and supplies the necessary nutrients: “noble proteins”, mineral salts and vitamins, especially B12 which is necessary for the cognitive development and growth. Furthermore the ham sandwhich does not have more than 140 kcal and thus less than a croissant with jam!
Pregnancy and breats-feeding are two physiologycal conditions in which it is necessary to adapt the energetic and nutritional needs. During the pregnancy it is important to build reserves of nutrients for the development of the unborn life, especially of proteins (fundamental for the formation of the fetus), calcium, phosphor and vitamin D, a crucial element for the formation of the skeleton and the nervous system of the child. Iron and iodine are indispensable to guarantee the correct functioning of the thyroid gland. Vitamins A and C have a key role in the formation of muscular tissue. Likewise important are the B vitamins and folic acid which in case of lack would provocate neural disorders of the fetus.
It is generally important to eat in a rich and varied way prefering extra virgin olive oil over animal fats as it is rich in fatty acids, an important substance for the development of the nervous system of the fetus. Fatty acids can be found in many deli meat products.
During pregnancy vegetables should be washed carefully and meats should be consumed well done to reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis. Likewise the consumption of raw salami with a short ageing process should be avoided. Products like raw ham with its long and slow ageing at low temperatures rather represent a small risk as the parasites seem to be inactivated in this raw meat. While products like cooked ham, mortadella, zampone (pig´s trotter) and cotechino are processed at temperatures not lower than 70 degrees celsius and are thus considered safe. Additionally the salt and fat content of these four products was reduced during the last 25 years.
At an advanced age nutritional needs can vary due to physiologycal changes, variances in the capacity to absorb essential nutrients and sometimes even a loss of appetite. The lower physical activity reduces the need of energy. In reverse the needs of some of the nutrients augment: calcium, phosphorus and zinc, the latter is important for the immune system.
The deli meat products today, thanks to the reduction of salt, fat and cholesterol and their important role as source of proteins and micronutrients, represent a great products for elderly people. The taste, the easiness to masticate the products, the digestibility and the simplicity of conserving the meats make those products adapted food items for this growing part of the society.
Who exercises a lot has higher caloric needs than the average person, as the respective sport creates a variable level of energy requirements. Concerning the composition of each sport nutrition the increase of needs should be considered but the raising of protein consumption should only be done in case of professional sports and intense daily trainings. Just before competitions and difficult trainings, foods with a high digestibility and great energy levels should be consumed. Simultaneously the loss of liquids and mineral salts should be constantly supplemented.
Nevertheless the `mini-snacks´ should be simple and deliver the right quantities of nutrients as for example the branched-chain amino acids, energy for the organism. In combination with bread, cold cuts can be a perfect way to recover easily the needed energy in a natural way which has been lost through exercise and perspiration. Also as main courses, deli meat products are practical and adapted as a rich source of “noble proteins”, B vitamins and mineral salts