CHILD NUTRITION

CHILD NUTRITION


Child Nutrition


Child nutrition specifically refers to everything your child consumes. Your child’s body uses nutrients from food sources to stay healthy and function properly. Such nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients when consumed in the right amount can enhance your child’s growth, learning process and other vital activities.

Calories refer to the amount of energy available in the foods and drinks your child consumes. Children specifically require a certain amount of calories for proper growth and development. However, calories consumed by your child in excess of their body needs will be stored as fat.




Why is proper nutrition important?


Poor nutrition can result in a number of health problems, including overweight and obesity. Some of the health complications associated with poor nutrition can be very serious especially when your child grows into an adult. By creating healthy eating habit for your child, you can help prevent these health complications. A note of importance is that it is much easier to maintain a healthy weight that it is to lose weight. Hence, those children who maintain a healthy weight are more likely to remain at a healthy weight as an adult.



Effects of overweight or obesity in children


Some diseases are more pronounced in overweight and obese kids than in kids that maintain healthy weight.
Among those diseases:

  • heart disease

  • diabetes

  • sleep apnea

  • high blood pressure

  • high cholesterol

  • asthma

  • certain types of cancer

  • depression


They also may get some feelings such as:

  • feeling bad about their body 

  • feeling isolated and alone

  • having trouble learning

  • trouble interacting with others

  • being teased and bullied



Benefits of good nutrition for children

  • healthy weight for height

  • mental well-being

  • ability to learn and concentrate

  • strong bones and muscles

  • good energy levels

  • ability to fight off sickness and diseases

  • faster healing ability

  • easier recovery from illness or injury

  • reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers and bone diseases in the future



How to help your child make healthy food choices


By creating and teaching healthy eating habits for your kids, you are giving them important tools for a lifetime of healthy living. 

Highlighted below are some ways:

  • offer healthy food options at home

  • limit fast foods, takeout, and junk foods

  • read food labels

  • be a good role model for your child




Do physical activities count?


Proper nutrition together with routine physical activities are vital keys to maintaining a healthy weight and overall healthy body system. Encourage your child to get active by getting engaged in physical activities he or she enjoys. Target at least 60 minutes of active play on a daily basis. Limit your child’s time of sitting at the TV, computer or using a cell phone to at most 120 minutes. The best way to make this work is by being the perfect role model, limiting your own screen time as well.

Physical activities should form part of the whole lifestyle of your family. Take a healthy walk, bike rides, or do chores together. Set a plan for active family outings and make it work.




Can I actually make a difference?


Many parents are stuck with this question because they doubt their inherent ability to make things work when they really want it to. Being a parent or caregiver, you influence a lot of what your child does. More often than not, he or she will follow your example so it’s very vital to present yourself as the perfect one when it comes to making healthy choices. Remember, a little change in your family’s eating habits and physical activities will go a long way in keeping a healthy lifestyle for your kids.

 

        
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