The relationship between nutrition, health and learning is undeniably strong. Nutrition is one of the three significant factors that impact a child’s development. Convenient and takeout food can harm your child’s health. These negative effects of unhealthy eating in childhood can develop into lifelong diseases.
Nutrition for children is based on the same core principles as nutrition for adults. Children need the same nutrients as adults but in different amounts. The key is a healthy and appropriate balance of diet and physical activity.
The major nutrient requirements for kids include protein, carbohydrates, fats, calcium, iron, folate, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C etc. The portions of each respective food group will depend heavily on age, genetic makeup, and physical activity. It is important to understand each food group to develop a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your child.
Let us understand the importance of nutrients in kids’ development:
Protein is a source of essential amino acids that contribute to the mental and physical health of children. Insufficient protein in kids’ diet can cause fatigue, lack of concentration, slowed growth, lowered immunity and more.
Iron is a mineral that forms haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body. If your child’s diet lacks iron, he or she might develop iron deficiency. Kids tend to look pale, experience poor appetite, slowed growth and development, feel tired, weak and irritable.
Calcium & Vitamin D
Children who get enough calcium start their adult lives with strong bones. That protects them against bone-related problems later in life. Similarly, deficiency of vitamin D causes delayed motor development, muscle weakness, aches and pains, and fractures.
Vitamin C helps for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. A child’s growing body can’t produce vitamin C on its own. Insufficient vitamin C may cause fatigue, inflammation of the gums, spots on the skin, joint pain and poor wound healing.
Vitamin A serves a variety of purposes in both kids and adults. It helps growth, assists the eyes in adjusting to dim and bright lights, keeps skin healthy, and works to prevent infection.
Fats play an important role in the development of a child’s brain and helps them reach their maximum growth potential. They are important to the brain and play a role in the formation of hormones. Limiting a child’s fat intake deprives him or her of essential nutrients. Many low-fat diets are low in zinc and vitamin E.
Healthy eating habits are more likely to stay with the kids if they acquire them as a child. That’s why it’s important to inculcate healthy eating habits in childhood. It will help them stick with these eating patterns and avoid developing chronic diseases as a child or as an adult.