Early Childhood Nutrition

Early childhood nutrition is important to a child’s development. The choice of food has crucial impact in a child’s development which continues throughout adulthood. Diet can affect early childhood development and rapid growth rate. For healthy growth development a healthy diet contains nutrients. Education provides a vital role in a child’s diet. External sources can influence their relationship with food. It is it vital that parents monitor their consumption. Providing the child with the right knowledge and dietary to aid their development.

Nutrients that come from food can build a child’s immune systems like vitamin C and zinc. They can form energy from carbohydrates and increase muscle and tissue from protein. Food can provide great growth for the child’s ability to learn. Iodine is a nutritional need required for brain development, concentration and learning. This is crucial to their rapid growth development in the early stages of the child’s development. Food allows a child to be able to express themselves. This is a crucial phase for cognitive, behavioral and physical development.

Development

Infants development is rapid, tripling their weight and begins at birth. Optimal nutrition at this stage will strengthen the lifelong eating habits of a child. The choice of food for an infant must be highly considered as their digestive and immune system is in the early stages of development. Breast milk meets the nutritional demands and aids their development.

As children get into their toddler and preschool stages, their growth changes The need for nutrition doesn’t. Toddlers have slower growth development but on the other hand as they age, it becomes more rapid in the preschool years. The physical development of a child is dependent on a nutritious diet.

Early Childhood Nutrition: Socialization

Their socialization with food begins and it is important that they are not influenced with advertisements for example for food (junk) that can be harmful in their development. Their eating habits at this age is vital for their lifelong health approach. Picky eaters can produce unpredictable emotional responses and it is important that the child is educated and provided with the right nutritional needs. Their senses, touch, taste, sight, smell and hear are actively being used when interacting with food and can be influenced by the behavior of others, especially by adults. For a child at this age, they generally need at least 1200 to 1400 calories with the right nutritional levels to support their growth and activity levels.

It is best not to ask me for advice for a diet plan for a child as I am not a nutritionist! What I do recommend to all parents, keep introducing new foods to your child and noting down what they like, and don’t like. Get a good mixture of fruits and vegetables that boast great nutrients, and work around with your findings. Try and not force your child to eat certain foods, give them an alternative.

Useful Links

For more on Early Childhood: http://www.mrgregenglish.com/category/education/early-childhood/

Mr. Greg

An English teacher from Scotland who made a website to share resources for free with the whole world! Currently based in Hong Kong, teaching in an International Kindergarten and tutoring Primary students.

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