Hey There! If you are here, looking at this page and reading this particular question, the highest chances are that you are a parent or a care giver or a discerning reader looking for health related information. Well… you are at the right place.
The role of good Nutrition for kids – an often asked question; justifiably so, as well live in the times when maintaining health is a top priority- no matter what the age. It is imperative to start good nutrition young. These are also questions that the child will not ask, hence it becomes the responsibility of the caregiver to deliver the application of this information onto the child’s plate.
Good nutrition – as simple as it sounds is not as easy to achieve given the busyness of our days and the most crucial resource of time being at a shortage. Moreover, with the food demands of children influenced by the media onslaught, we as caregivers literally give in to them to keep peace. Therefore, ensuring good nutrition may become possible only if we clearly and irrevocably know in our minds how crucial it is to prioritise it.
Here are seven reasons why Good Nutrition is Crucial in the growth and development of children
Unlocking The Genetic Potential Of The Child
Wow! Isn’t that reason enough to start organising the food on our children’s plate for positive health!
When the right nutrients in the right amounts reach the cells of the child, the child’s growth will be in accordance to what is genetically possible – this means both the body and brain growth. The child will gain the height ordained, the correct weight, will be able to use mental faculties well, will have his muscles grow stronger
In fact, going further… it can prevent the onset of diseases that have been coded into the genes due to a family history!
Optimum Brain Development
This one is a no brainer! (pun intended). The child’s brain grows not only in size but also in functionality in the early years as well as through adolescence. Let’s take an analogy of creating a beautiful networking system of a computer here.
Not only is the brain tissue growing, it is also forming various interconnections with other neurons (more the connections- more the capacity and speed for functioning). Other brain cells are growing too which help in the regulation of the brain function all laying the foundations of memory, cognition and intelligence.
Also, let’s not forget that as the child grows, the neurons are increasing in length. There is needed a bouquet of nutrients needed for this purpose – the right kind of fats, the right vitamins and minerals. Iron for eg. is extremely important to develop intelligence and optimum brain function.
Achieving Optimum Height And Weight
The right amount of nutrition designed for the growth of your child will ensure there will be no undernutrition – leading to stunted growth or overnutrition – which could lead to childhood obesity, an increasingly common condition in today’s times.
Good height is also dependent on the length of the bones. Thus, ensuring that the nutrients for the bones are adequate is what the child’s meal plan must do.
Optimum Growth Of Internal Organs
We measure the child’s growth by measuring the height and their weight. What a good height and weight implies is that the child is also growing internally.
As we all plan your child’s or your teenagers’ meals and as we encourage them to eat well, what we must remember that what is on their plate is allowing the growth of all the internal organs – the heart, the lung, the intestines, the kidney…all the internal organs.
During puberty and through adolescence, a good nutrition plan supports the growth of reproductive organs into adulthood.
How can we downplay the significance of a good diet, when this is understood!
Development And Maintenance Of Immunity
The immune cells are innumerable in the body, produced in the bone marrow. In addition, there is an immune system in the intestine that maintains health and prevents disease.
A robust immune system will help in curbing all those annoying infections that plagues many a childhood – from a constant runny and stuffy nose to ear infections to intestinal infections. Maintenance of this system through childhood to adolescence needs the steady hand of a good diet and a healthful eating plan.
Disease prevention and health creation starts young. We are all born with certain genetic inheritances or family inheritances of disease risk.
Ensuring good nutrition in childhood can give the base to delay or completely avoid the onset of such diseases in adulthood. For eg. Diabetes, Hypertension or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Yes! The roots of disease prevention are to be laid as early as possible so that health can be maintained – a very important thought given the increasing numbers of degenerative diseases like diabetes and cardiac diseases on the rise exponentially!
To Provide The Best Physical Ability Through Childhood Into Adulthood
Yes. The physique one has in adulthood is built from birth. A strong heart and lungs provide stamina. Well grown muscles, albeit small in childhood can grow into a powerful stature in adulthood. The more muscle mass one has, the better is the metabolism – both for males and females; and this foundation can be laid in childhood by a precise combination of nourishing food and good lifestyle.
Are these not compelling reasons to pay minute attention to our child’s nutrition plan?
Are these not priority areas for our child’s growth?
Can we afford to be lackadaisical and let the influence of media or peers or set unexamined eating patterns continue?
Can we afford to play around with our child’s health?
Are we not responsible?
Do send in your thoughts and comments to us. We are coming up with multiple strategies to ensure good nutrition for your kids – articles, menu planning and recipes.
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Meanwhile… Chew on the seven points and set your mind strong to enhance your child’s health and wellbeing.