Nutrition is a process of selection and preparation of food taken by individual which is digested by body for its normal functioning and growth, hence it plays very important role in human life. It is not only important for adults to have healthy diet but it’s very crucial for every child to have proper food for development of its good health and immunity. Malnutrition weakens immunity in child making it susceptible to various diseases and infections. A child health depends on mother’s health during conception and mainly on the quality and quantity of food she take cares during pregnancy. Achronically undernourished mother is likely to give birth to underweight baby. During foetal growth it’s important to have all essentials nutrients in diet because it is the stage where its various organs and tissues develop and hence eliminating mal-nourishment in mother can prevent disabilities in their infants.According to studies India is one of the highest ranking countries in the world where children suffer from malnutrition which mainly depends upon socio –economicstatus of India.
Improving child nutrition
Improvement in child’s health and growth should begin from home by following some simple basic tips:-
1. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables- Encourage child to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as they are very good source of fibre,vitamins, minerals and rich in antioxidants which helps to fight against various diseases.
2. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water and milk instead of sugar added soft drinks.
3. Choose salads over fried and spicy oily foods.
4. Give home cooked food for kids and avoid eating from restaurants and hotels.
5. Choose correct food for your child so that it gives appropriate all types of nutrients for his or her growth and development.
Essential macro and micronutrients in food
Macronutrients which are required in larger amount for body are carbohydrates, proteins, fat and water.
1. Carbohydrates plays important role in body functioning as they are source of energy (starch and glycogen) and as structural components.
2. Proteins form the structural material in cell and also acts as enzymes to catalyse all vital reactions in cell.
3. Fats are the source of essential fatty acids. Fats serves as energy source for body, insulates body against shock thus promoting healthy body function.
4. Water is major constituents of our body and other organs. It act as a carrier distributing essential nutrients to cell such as vitamins, minerals and glucose. It also removes waste products including toxins.It also helps to maintain body temperature.
Micronutrients like Vitamin A, Iron, Iodine and folate plays vital role in mother’s survival in pregnancy and childbirth and further child health development.
1. Vitamin A is important in functioning of immune system and vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness and other childhood diseases like measles, diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia. It also prevents maternal mortality and transmission of HIV from mother to child.
2. Iodine is crucial nutrients for functioning of thyroid gland which regulate growth and metabolism
3. Iron is very important in formation of haemoglobin in body which is a important protein in blood that carries oxygen to different parts of body. Iron –folate supplements during pregnancy helps anaemia.
4. Folate plays important role in formation of red blood cells and also development of nerve cells in embryo and foetus stages of development.Hence teaching children the importance of good nutrition throughout childhood will result in healthier and happy life. And in also adverse condition it’s important to take advice from your family doctors, dieticians or clinical nutritionists for your child good health and development.