Importance Of Nutrition In Early Childhood: Development Of Mind, Body, Spirit

14 November 2022
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Did you know that the first 1000 days of your child are golden opportunities to influence their brain development? Starting from conception to about 2-3 years of age, your infant's nutrition greatly determines the development of mind, body and spirit. Time and again specialists have emphasised the importance of nutrition in a child's growth. Since the brain uses up about 20% of the energy produced in the body every day, your child needs to eat healthy and nutritious food all day. While children can be picky eaters, this cannot be an excuse to encourage unhealthy eating patterns. It's important that as a parent, you proactively encourage them to eat fruits, vegetables, and protein in healthy portions. This ensures that they remain healthy - mentally and physically and have the energy to achieve everything they set out to.

What is the importance of a balanced diet for students?
Nutrition and physical fitness directly impact a child's health. A healthy body and mind can drastically improve cognitive function. When the body does not have to invest energy in tackling health disorders, it can easily divert it to physical, intellectual and emotional growth. When children are in a better state physically, they can engage in physical activities that encourage the secretion of feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. There is no one food that is better than any other, but a balanced diet that provides preschoolers and students with all the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbs is vital.

Nutrition affects their daily energy levels
Children who eat foods low in nutrition can experience more fatigue than those who don't. The importance of nutritious food can be seen when a lack of essential nutrients causes conditions such as anaemia, infections and short-term illnesses. An unhealthy body may not engage in outdoor activities as much leading to a bad mental state as well. Hence, it is important to try and keep your child's body in the best health possible by feeding them the right food.

Healthy eating habits prevent obesity
Obesity is frequently associated with an unhealthy relationship with food. This happens when you do not build healthy eating habits with children by encouraging consumption in moderation and planning well-balanced meals. Children need to know that they can eat everything without feeling guilty as long as they control their portions. Include your kids in planning nutritious meals and eat the same food they do to influence modelled behaviour. Healthy eating habits start at a young age and are generally built around positive emotions.

Fuel to tackle every hurdle that comes their way
The importance of nutritious food is that it sustains better energy levels throughout the day. Children need specific portions of food throughout the day to keep them going. While excessive carbs can make them feel lethargic and sugar-rich foods can affect their concentration, food packed with a healthy balance of nutrition can improve focus and engagement. Your kids need enough to sustain their focus in class, their energy levels when they are out playing and stay engaged without losing a beat. It's best to consult your paediatrician and work out a diet plan for your child and modify it according to their changing needs.

Building healthy long-term habits
The key to building good habits is consistency - the more frequently you do something the easier it becomes to make it a habit. Young children can be very impressionable, especially when you encourage something as a parent. Create a positive environment around healthy eating, include your kids in planning meals and take them along for grocery shopping. When you make healthy eating fun at an early age, children will develop these habits in the long term.

As a parent, habituating your children to eating healthy can be a difficult task. Children can be resilient and picky eaters who may refuse to eat all the good things you put on their plates. However, this should not discourage you from building healthy eating habits in their life. Health and nutrition at an early age are interlinked and form the basis of long-term mental and physical wellness. Moreover, a nutritious diet keeps your child free of disease and fatigue, encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves every day.
The Podar Education Network continuously strives to make holistic development for students fun and easy. We understand the importance of healthy food for students. Head to our website to know more.

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