IMPORTANCE OF INVESTING IN CHILD NUTRITION
Every day 67,385 babies are born in India, that’s one-sixth of the world’s childbirths. But ever wondered about how many of them survive? And mothers who die after childbirth due to lack of nutrition? Unfortunately, that data isn’t unavailable. Not because of a lack of concern, but because of the sheer volume of the population set. Mothers and children in rural and urban areas suffer likewise. Thousands of mothers die because of a lack of access to proper nutrition. Millions of kids die before the age of 3 as they don’t obtain the nutrients needed for growth and development.
Losing someone to death because of a basic need is a tragedy. One which happens repeatedly in our country. One which is happening in some part of our country right now.
Nutrition is important for everyone, not just children. But we must give importance to children’s nutrition because it’s easy for them to adopt a good lifestyle, having a balanced diet. This will definitely benefit them in their life and also contributes to the economic growth of the country.
According to a World Bank survey, a 1% drop in adult height due to childhood stunting is linked to a 1.4 % drop in economic growth. In comparison, stunted infants are likely to earn 20% less as adults. Undernutrition causes stunting and malnutrition. The number of malnourished children in India is the highest in the world. Not just that, but stunting is a challenge that we as a nation must vigorously fix. In India, about 32% of children under the age of five are stunted. We also have the largest population of stunted children.
Every parent has some expectations from their child, which is why you choose the ‘best’ for them. Today, when buying a food product from a shop, do you look at the nutritional values of that product before buying it? Have you thought of how this food is going to affect your child even once?
Endless food frauds are going on in the market, so how do you distinguish what’s genuine and what’s not? Is the information provided in the packet of the product well enough? Don’t worry! We have all the solutions to address these concerns, along with additional information which will help you for sure. Read the articles below to know more about child nutrition and its importance.
Children are the future!
A country’s prosperity depends on the well-being of the children. For a child’s growth and development, among other things, an appropriate and well-balanced diet is needed. We all know very well how things are going in the food trade, at least to some extent. We have seen many scams that were related to food adulteration, which have destroyed many big brands’ reputation. In our country, almost half of children under the age of five are malnourished. There are many reasons for this problem. Let’s look into a few of them.
Food Adulteration Using Metals
Lead poisoning is one of the major public health problems that India is struggling with.
According to a UNICEF study performed in collaboration with the NGO Pure Earth, India is the country with the highest incidence of lead poisoning. The use of Indian spice powders is the major cause of this. Lead ingestion even in smaller amounts in children can have severe harmful effects such as aggressive behaviour, constipation, sleep problems, repeated headaches/migraine, loss of developmental skills in children, memory loss, kidney problems and much more.
Parents’ Role in Child Nutrition:
Good & Bad Influences!
The habits of children are mostly influenced by their parents. For a healthy body, you need to have good eating habits and a healthy lifestyle. There’s a lot of things that the parents should keep in mind while enjoying your life with your family and friends. Children tend to imitate things at their early ages.
In most families, we see that moms buy the food and probably she’ll be the one cooking it for the family. Dad remains to relax after coming home from work and he is ready to enjoy eating any dish his wife cooks for them. If both the dad and mom have a taste for delicious foods that compromises nutritional values and are somewhat unhealthy for the body, the kids will likely start to pick that habit. These kinds of habits are bad for the children’s health in future. Along with these eating habits, what if both of them enjoy spending most of their time together in front of the TV, enjoying every show on it. This is the majority lifestyle that we see in Indian families.
Now let’s look at a contrary situation, where the parents choose to take care of adding nutrient-rich foods to their diet & enjoy spending their free time doing something productive or on weekends going for an adventure, sport, cycling or going on trips with the family. Kids in these families also start to pick up these habits. This is a positive way of showing the children to live healthily and stay fit.
In most families, the second situation is an ideal scenario. The food industries are influencing us with a variety of items introduced each day which is why kids these days are no longer interested in eating traditional healthy foods cooked at home.
A survey was conducted for children under 12 years of age by Tanner-Blasier, a paediatric dietitian at Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis, in which he found that children are most likely to eat a meal or spend time watching TV and playing games, rather than playing outside. He explains this is because the parents showcased a lifestyle like that and that the parents never thought of really becoming a role model to their kids. Although the parents expect their children to do exercises, which the parents themselves don’t do.
Lack of Awareness
It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure the quality of the food they purchase for their child. Educate yourselves about the food label and other sources of information about the food product. If you haven’t noticed it much, read the paragraph below to get a small insight into things that can help you to take care of nutrients intake.
Understanding the food label:
It’s important to know what’s inside the food you buy to actually get benefit from it! You might get confused over the advertisement captions stating the purity with terms like “fresh”, “no additives”, and the offers which definitely capture our eyes, but the most important details about the number of nutrients we get from it are not much highlighted. The better you can understand the food labels, then it’s easy to have a healthy choice of food from stores.
Don’t miss to check these things:
- Calories: This value gives the amount of energy we get from that product. It is the main factor that accounts to weight control. The number of calories indicates the number of calories provided in one serving of the product.
- Fat/Calories from fat: It’s the calories provided from the fat contained in it. For children, this value is between 30%-40% (for 1–3 years of age), and 25%-30% (for 4–18 years of age). Choose foods with unsaturated fats if possibles, try to reduce consumption of foods containing trans-fats and saturated fats.
- Sodium: It is important to have a small amount of sodium intake in order to keep the blood fluid balanced, however higher amounts of intakes can increase blood pressure levels. For adults, it’s good to restrict sodium intake per day to 2300mg. It is always preferable to choose less processed foods to reduce the amount of sodium intake.
- Sugar: It can be seen in other terms such as “High Fructose Corn Syrup”, “Dextrose”, “Invert sugar” etc., it’s optimal to choose 5g per serving, as it adds plenty of calories.
- Dietary fibre: It is usually listed under carbohydrates. This can help in reducing the risk of high cholesterol levels and colon cancer. Fibres themselves don’t contain any calories, you need to consume at least 25g per day.
- %Daily Value (% DV): This value tells the number of nutrients a person gets when consuming one serving. This is calculated on a basis of a 2000 calorie diet per day.
- Ingredients list: Contains the number of ingredients contained in that product.
Effects of Nutrition in Children
Now you know how the routines and habits of you influence your children, besides those children who do not get enough nutrients as they grow to have high chances of physical ailments. Obesity, Osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, changes in hair volume, texture, fatigue and type 2 diabetes are all some serious issues caused by the lack of nutrients intake. Children who consume more sugar, fat, and processed carbohydrates are at risk of obesity, which in turn will cause high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cholesterol. Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weak, porous and brittle, this is caused by the lack of calcium intake.
How to Make Sure Your Child Is Eating Healthy?
You know you have control to decide what to feed your toddler, but as the child develops, he/she starts making opinions and likes for certain items to eat. This is the stage where the parents have to take good care of what to feed their child. Research in this field tells us that it is best to give up and try after some time rather than forcing your toddler/preschooler to eat a particular food if they refuse to eat it. Provide them options that are equally nutrient-rich foods, so that at some point he will have to get used to eating them. Since children are very much imitative and observational, include them in food preparation, teach them how to identify healthy & unhealthy types of foods in stores or even food kept inside your refrigerator at home. This basic knowledge can help them to choose what’s good for them in their way. As they grow further and reach adolescence, by that time they’ll have proper knowledge of what to eat and in what amount to eat in order to stay fit.
We Can Help You!
Our mission is to ensure the food which our people consume is safest by redefining the quality profile of the products and make people aware of what they eat by providing the right information about the product. Consumers can scan the QR code on the pouch of the product to retrieve the information about the product and make the right purchase decision. The information we provide contains the nutritional values of each ingredient in it. Additionally, we provide recipes of interesting dishes you can make using that particular product. To know more about us, visit our website: vibrathon.co