Monday, February 11, 2013

Child Development and Child Nutrition

All the biological, physiological and emotional changes that occur in an individual from the time of his birth to the time he touches youth are termed as child development. These may be genetic changes or changes due to certain events during prenatal time. The development of a child can best be understood by keeping an eye on his behavioral, cognitive, social, educational as well as emotional developments. All these developments are directly or in directly dependent upon the nutrition of the child. If under nourished, child growth and development will also suffer. So it is the duty of a mother to inculcate in a child, the habit of eating right and eating proper, right from the early stage of childhood.

Lack of nutrition may also result in the stunted growth, anemia, or xerophthalmia. It can also affect the learning abilities, communication skills, and analytical power of the child. It is therefore very essential to take care of Child Nutrition right from the intrauterine stage and up to at least 8 to 10 years of age. Poor nutrition results in impaired behavioral development and poor motor development. It has been scientifically proven that good and nutritious diet given to a child during his preschool days is not only beneficial for immediate growth and development but it has a sound improvement in adolescence and adulthood also. Child development can be divided in to four distinct stages – infancy, preschool years, middle childhood years, and adolescence. The nutritional requirements of all these years are different in terms of quantity but the basic requirements of sufficient proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats remain the same.
It is better to maintain a diet chart for infants and the children of preschool years. During infancy, the nourishment reaches the child mainly through liquid diet like milk or juices. It is essential to mention here that the mother’s milk works wonders in the growth and development of an infant. The healthy foods for kids also protect them from many diseases. You should always take care to include fruits and vegetables in the daily diet of the child, add pulses, red meat, eggs and nuts to meet the need for protein, give him whole grain and lots of cereals as these are rich sources of fibers which are good for digestive system. Though fat provide the maximum amount of calories or energy (a must for growing child) yet it has more harm than benefits when included in diet. It’s better to see that the child gets his quota of calories from good sources like proteins and to some extent through the carbohydrates. 
It is a common scene with today’s children that they indulge themselves completely in junk and fast food. Teach them to avoid these unhealthy foods. Also keep away from fried food; rather give them grilled, baked, broiled or steamed food. Last but not the least, instead of sodas and sugary fruit drinks give them water and fresh fruit juices. Water should be taken in plenty as it helps in digestion and also helps to remove toxins from the body in the form of urine or sweat. So, if you keep a track of these healthy foods for kids, you would never find any problem with child growth and development.

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