Mum, I’m one!
Good nutrition and eating habits are essential to help your toddler grow into a healthy adult.
YOUR little one is finally a year old. His progress chart shows a tripling of his birth weight and an increase of about 30% in height. He now boasts a few teeth and enjoys solid foods. He surprises you with his first words and gains mileage as he learns to walk and run.
But all this is just the beginning. More growing awaits him in the years ahead and he needs you to lead him towards a healthy adulthood. This is where good nutrition and healthy eating habits come into play.
Nutrition during the first four years of life exerts a major impact on the rest of your child’s life. And eating habits established in early childhood persist into the adult years. So, if your child starts well, he will stay well in the
future. Let’s examine some of his major nutritional needs and see how you can use this “window of opportunity” to help him.
As early as two years of age, your child’s brain would have achieved 80% of its adult size! Nutrition plays a vital role in brain development and cognitive functions. For example, DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), a beneficial fat, is required for brain development. Minerals like zinc, iron and iodine as well as vitamins, particularly B complex and vitamin E, are also crucial. The brain also needs a constant stream of energy from glucose for mental and cognitive functions.
How you can help: Add oily fish, red meats, poultry and whole grains to your child’s menu. Serve small but frequent meals for a steady flow of energy.
At birth, 25% of your child’s body weight comes from his muscles. This increases steadily over the years to reach 50% at adulthood.
How you can help: Start your child right with sufficient proteins in his diet because muscle growth during childhood is greatly influenced by nutrition. Introduce both plant and animal proteins such as beans, meats, seafood, milk, eggs and poultry to him.
Boning up and smiling confidently
Bone mass is built significantly during infancy, childhood and
Up until three or four years old, your child’s immune system is still immature. Coincidentally, during this time, he socialises more and explores his environment extensively, thus exposing himself to infections from harmful microorganisms.
How you can help: Friendly bacteria like BL Bifidus help to train and boost your child’s immune system against harmful microorganisms. Make BL Bifidus a part of your child’s daily diet. Good nutrition and eating habits during the early years have immediate as well as long-term effects on your child’s health, through to adulthood. But feeding toddlers isn’t always easy because they have a small stomach, fluctuating appetite and may be picky with foods. To optimise your child’s nutrition, offer him nutrient-dense foods which are beneficial even when consumed in small amounts (see suggested recipe below).
So, let your child start well to stay well. – Article courtesy of Nestle Cerelac