In the years when children are growing and developing, giving a healthy & nutritious diet is crucial. Appropriate child nutrition which begins at an early age helps build a solid foundation for maintaining health and ingraining excellent dietary habits. Early childhood nutrition has three key advantages: it boosts a child’s ability to fight off infectious diseases, promotes healthy brain and other organ development, and enhances their level of activity and cognitive ability. Since it makes them ready for a lifetime of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, appropriate nutrition for children is of paramount importance.
Trying to convince children to eat healthy meals can sometimes feel like an uphill task. As food becomes more lush and green, the effort becomes harder. However, it is essential that children are taught the importance of consuming a healthy diet and establishing a regular eating schedule. The more information a child receives about nutrition and child health, the more excited they will be about eating well. So parents and caregivers must constantly engage in dialogue with them.
The Issue of Nutrition is also Social in Nature
The lack of essential nutrients in the food is primarily to blame for India’s nutrition problem, which ranges from mild to severe malnutrition in children. Malnutrition in India manifests itself in a variety of ways. These cover a wide range of fields and elements. Beyond a steady and varied dietary supply, one needs to consider other factors to ensure optimum nutritional status. A country’s social, political, and economic environment all have a significant impact on how well-fed its citizens are. Additionally, the institutional and delivery capabilities have an impact on nutritional status. A country’s ability to grow can be hampered if its population’s basic requirements are not met.
Child Nutrition in India
Early on, when they are highly sensitive, children start to practise rituals and develop traits that they carry into adulthood and diet is no exception. Inadequate child nutrition in India during a child’s development can result in physical issues in addition to the development of habits and routines. Some of the most common issues in malnourished children include obesity, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, changes in hair volume and texture, weariness, and restlessness. The growing epidemic of childhood obesity is having a significant impact on children. Obesity is characterised as having too much body fat that falls within the 95th percentile of the applicable BMI.
Children who are obese are more likely to have imbalanced diets, consume a lot of fat, sugar, and processed carbohydrates, and be inactive. Increased cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and emotional problems that can last a child their entire lives are just a few health problems that obesity can bring. Young children are especially prone to body image and mental issues related to child nutrition in India. When children consume processed, high-fat, and sugary meals, their gastrointestinal systems and gut microbes suffer. Insufficient calcium absorption can result in osteoporosis. It is a degenerative bone disease that results in porous, weak, and brittle bones.
Lack of sufficient child nutrition in India is one of the causes of under-5 child mortality in India.. When a child is underweight for their age due to chronic malnutrition, also known as stunting, it can have a severe and lasting effect on their physical and mental development. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as inadequate nutrition, care, or living conditions.
Ensure a Nutritious Health for Children
Children are very observant beings. Thus it is essential to provide enjoyable and healthy experiences to them. Cooking in the presence of children makes for one such experience. It could be advantageous to enlist your child’s help in selecting foods based on their nutritional value and explaining how they can support growing bodies. Parents are also advised to use specific serving sizes and show their children what these equate to. As children grow older, healthy serving sizes and balanced eating habits can be understood, used, and maintained with the aid of this child nutrition instruction.
India’s trusted child rights NGO, Save the Children, works tirelessly to raise public awareness of the value of good child nutrition and health. Different foods provide different nutrients and ensure that your child consumes a variety of fruits and vegetables. The NGO constantly engages with mothers, caregivers and the community to promote healthy dietary practices for young children.