Thursday, 13 March 2014

Early Childhood Feeding and Nutrition

Children need a balanced and healthy diet for the amazing rate of growth and development that occurs during early childhood. Children, after age 2, eat many of the same foods adults eat.

As a result, it is important that parents provide children with a menu that includes a variety of nutrient-dense choices from all important food groups. Parents should also take care to minimize children's access to "junk foods" that are low in nutrient value and high in sugar, fat, and salt.

A study on nutrition and health conducted in Southeast Asia, and the result shows that there is a fairly critical nutritional deficiency among children under the age of 12. The study involved more than 16,500 children aged between six months and 12 years from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.

Study for two years had just ended and it focuses attention on health issues important in this country called 'hidden hunger' (hidden hunger). The researchers use the term 'hidden hunger' for translating nutritional deficiencies that cannot be seen easily. The child may seem like a healthy or overeat, but they may not be getting the nutrients needed by the body such as vitamin D and calcium, which is essential for the growth and development of children. Calcium and vitamin D is necessary for growth. It is also important for healthy bones.

In Malaysia, 50 percent of children do not get adequate amounts of vitamin D in their bodies, based on Proposed Nutrient Intake (RNI) for the country, as recommended by health authorities Malaysia. While one in five children are facing the problem of over -nutrition.

Children also suffer from a lack of calcium. About 50 per cent of children do not take adequate amounts of calcium. According to the survey results as well, one out of every 10 children in urban areas in Malaysia is showing signs of malnutrition based on weight and age ratios. Percentages of rural children who suffer from nutritional deficiencies are a little lower than the prescribed amount.
Malnutrition may disclose to a problem and the overall development of the child, who cannot be restored," he said, adding that adequate and proper nutrition needed for the well-being of children.

Children need nutrition foods. Children can choose from a wide array of fruits and vegetables in the produce section of the grocery store. Selecting fruits and vegetables based on their colour makes for an easy rule of thumb; select fruits and vegetables with dark and vibrant colours because these colours indicate the presence of large amounts of vitamins and minerals. Dark green (e.g., spinach) and dark orange (e.g., carrots) vegetables are especially nutritionally valuable. Healthy preparation of veggies is also important. Raw or lightly-steamed vegetables will generally contain more nutrients than fried vegetables, because too much heat can destroy some nutrients. In addition, frying veggies in oil adds additional fat and calories to these foods.

Because young children are still learning to perfect the biting, chewing, and swallowing process, parents need to take care to serve fruits and vegetables that have been cut up into small pieces, to prevent choking. As well, slightly cooking or steaming vegetables softens them and reduces choking risk.
Canned fruits and vegetables are convenient, but, again, tend to be more processed (and therefore less healthy) than fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Parents should take care to monitor children's intake of canned and other highly processed fruits and vegetables, as they are often high in salt and sugar, preservatives, and flavour enhancers (e.g., Mono sodium glutamate, or MSG).

Protein menu selections can include lean meats (e.g., chicken, turkey, or fish) as well as chickpeas, beans, and nuts. As with fruit and vegetables, Parents need to carefully prepare protein-rich foods by cutting items into small pieces so as to minimize choking risk. As another choking precaution, very young children should avoid eating whole nuts and eat nut butters instead. A thin layer of low-fat nut butter on whole-grain toast is an excellent kid-friendly protein selection. Be careful, though... a child who swallows a large glob of peanut butter sandwich can still easily choke.

Young children should get two to three servings of milk products each day. Milk selections can include two percent or skim milk, non-fat or low-fat yogurt (try freezing portable yogurt tubes for a special treat), or cheese. Milk products are filled with calcium, which is especially important in the early childhood stage, as bones are rapidly growing

Insufficient nutrient intake will interfere with the development of mind and intellectual ability of children. This in turn will prevent the child from going through much physical growth.

Angela Oswalt, MSW, Natalie Staats Reiss, Ph.D and Mark Dombeck,Ph.D.,
Pentingnya mengetahui keperluan nutrisi kanak-kanak
7 Disember 2012