A balanced diet is directly linked with positive early childhood development
Children require appropriate nutrients at the right time to reach their full potential. Poor nutrition, in the form of substandard quality and quantity, can lead to under or over nutrition both of which can have harmful effects on child development. The period between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday is the most essential for healthy nutrition.
In the first two years of life, breastfeeding not only prevents various illnesses and diseases but is the best food for a child’s cognitive development and research says that breast-fed babies are known to have few higher cognitive scores as compared to those, not breastfed.
It boosts infant’s brain development and guarantees children a safe and nutritious source of food. UNICEF and the
At the age of six months, children need to begin with complementary feeds. Infants and toddlers must be
Poor nutrition can cause various nutritional deficiencies like vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness thereby leading to disability.
A healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet with environmental stimulation is directly linked with positive early childhood development. Early on in 2007,
All the early childhood development intervention programs must be integrated with nutritional support to reap the best long-term outcomes. Parenteral emotional involvement, caregivers’ healthy and involved emotional state, responsive parenting are some of the important elements that can have a positive impact on the development of a child.
Certain evidenced-based community-run nutritional interventional programs like the use of iodised salt, calcium and iron supplementation, balanced energy-protein supplementation, promoting infant and young child nutrition, micronutrient supplementation like vitamin A and zinc have contributed to a significant reduction in mortality and morbidity in early childhood development.
Seven easy nutritional tips
Keep snacks simple: A piece of fruit or handful of nuts would be great Eat the rainbow! Create colourful plates with a variety of vegetables
Avoid using food as a reward. Praise and encourage them sometimes only with a hug, it can be enough reward for a child.
Nutrition and early childhood development go hand in hand hence integrating the nutritional supplementation programs with early childhood development programs at the national and community level can be cost-effective and shall complement each other in having long-lasting and improved neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants and toddlers.