Why is nutrition crucial for child development? Nutrition plays an important role in the development and nourishment of a child. The developing age for a child is highly important for his physical, mind and emotional strength and development. The child’s nutrition should be skeptical and balanced. The child’s good development mainly lies on the diet which lays the bricks of healthy adulthood life.
In this article you will know about a child’s daily nutrition, foods and why nutrition is crucial for child development.
Foods which are high in nutrients and low in saturated fat, limited in salt and sugar are called nutrition-dense foods. Some of the nutrition-dense foods are;
|Protein||Choose Lean meat, eggs, beans, peas, seafoods.|
|Vegetables||Choose a vast variety of vegetables in your kid’s daily routine. If packed then ensure to choose the one which is lower in sodium. The vegetables like carrots, beans, peas etc.|
|Fruits||Encourage that your kid is taking fruits daily like apples, bananas, kiwis, orange etc.|
|Cheer up your child to eat and drink low-fat milk and yogurt.|
|Grains||Choose whole grains foods in a child’s diet as well like whole-wheat bread, quinoa, brown or wild rice, oatmeal, brown pasta etc.|
For Age 2 to 4:
|Calories||1000 to 1400||1000 to 1600|
|Proteins||2 to 4 ounces||2 to 5 ounces|
|Vegetables||1 to 1.5 cups||1 to 2 cups|
|Fruits||1 to 1.5 cups||1 to 1.5 cups|
|Dairy||2 to 2.5 cups||2 to 2.5 cups|
|Grains||3 to 5 ounces||3 to 5 ounces|
For Age 5 to 8:
|Calories||1200 to 1800||1200 to 2000|
|Proteins||3 to 5 ounces||3 to 5.5 ounces|
|Vegetables||1.5 to 2.5 cups||1.5 to 2.5 cups|
|Fruits||1 to 1.5 cups||1 to 2 cups|
|Dairy||2.5 cups||2.5 cups|
|Grains||4 to 6 ounces||4 to 6 ounces|
For Age 9 to 13:
|Calories||1400 to 2200||1600 to 2600|
|Proteins||4 to 6 ounces||5 to 6.5 ounces|
|Vegetables||1.5 to 3 cups||2 to 3.5 cups|
|Fruits||1.5 to 2 cups||1.5 to 2 cups|
|Dairy||3 cups||3 cups|
|Grains||5 to 7 ounces||5 to 9 ounces|
For Age 14 to 18:
|Calories||1800 to 2400||2000 to 3200|
|Proteins||5 to 6.5 ounces||5.5 to 7 ounces|
|Vegetables||2.5 to 3 cups||2.5 to 4 cups|
|Fruits||1.5 to 2 cups||2 to 2.5 cups|
|Dairy||3 cups||3 cups|
|Grains||6 to 8 ounces||6 to 10 cups|
* calories are depending on growth and physical activity level.
Corporeal and physical Development:
Proper nutrition is the building block for the physical growth of a child. It is the basis of his good physical development. A balanced diet should be given to the child which ensures the child takes proper essential nutrients which includes proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins that promotes healthy growth and development. Parents should ensure that their child is getting enough calories and nutrients and also consult a nutritionist if necessary.
ENHANCE IMMUNE SYSTEM:
Why is nutrition crucial for child development? As described above, proper nutrition helps in the growth of the child. The proper intake of essential nutrients protects the child from many diseases and makes its immune system strong. Vitamin C, antioxidants, zinc etc. Build defense round the body’s defending process. A good immune system protects and resists the child from various diseases and infections and it also promotes good health in adulthood as well.
The brain of a child also develops with a good intake of nutrients. A well balanced diet is highly needed for a healthy brain and it is regarded as brain fuel. Proper nutrition works as a brain fuel for cognitive functions. Fatty acids improve memory, concentration and also contribute highly in enhancement of cognitive abilities. Omega 3- fatty acids are found highly in fish and nuts which plays a major role in brain development.
A child’s proper nutrition impacts highly on the learning. Proper nutrition helps in brain development and works as brain fuel which is discussed earlier. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are the essential nutrients which promote and increase the capability of a child’s learning and concentration. Studies have also shown that there is a direct connection between nutrition and academic performance. It is tested that a child who is taking well balanced nutrition in a diet is comparatively performing well in the academic life as compared to the one who is not taking, which proves that nutrition also has a positive impact on learning.
Also Read: How to learn about nutrition and fitness
Emotional and psychic development:
A proper intake of nutrients also contributes to mood regulation. Omega 3-fatty acids and magnesium are linked to emotional health and mood regulation. Studies have shown that children whose diet is in lack of these essential nutrients and minerals have more behavioral issues and mood swings as compared to the one who is taking these nutrients properly.
HEALTHY EATING HABITS:
Establishing healthy eating habits is also crucial. It is formed in childhood and persists into adulthood as well. If a child is taking a well- balanced diet from childhood. It will help him to have healthy choices in adulthood as well. It directly impacts on psychic development of a kid which prevents him from unhealthy and irregular eating habits. Its directly prevents children from immediate health problems and reduces the risks of chronic diseases in later life. The main responsibility is of the parents to make sure that their child is having regular and healthy eating habits.
Prevent deficiencies and challenges:
VITAMIN D Deficiency:
Less amounts of vitamin D have a serious negative impact on the immune system and bone health. So the foods which are rich in vitamin D should be in a child’s diet which includes fatty fish and fortified dairy products. Exposure to sunlight also prevents the deficiency of children.
Deficiency is a serious problem. Iron deficiency anemia causes weakness, fatigue and severe iron anemia also causes impaired cognitive abilities and functions. Parents should ensure to include iron-rich foods in a child’s diet like beans, lean meat etc. It prevents the child from deficiency.
Reduce picky eating:
Many children are in the phase of picky eating. It is really difficult for parents to give their child a proper well-balanced diet. So it is important for parents to introduce many kinds of foods in different styles, creativity and also involve them. Make highly nutritious food in their own way which helps the child to take interest in the food and reduce their picky eating which ensures the proper nutritious meal for a kid.
In conclusion, nutrition is the building block of a child’s physical, brain and emotional development and well-being. If you are taking proper care of your child’s nutrition, it is an investment in their healthy life future. By understanding all the points which are described above, it is the contribution in today’s generation that children are not only growing in physique but also growing healthily in physical, emotional and intellectually.