Get Early Child Nutrition Right For Ongoing Healthy Development
As humans we go through the most extensive growth process during our first 1000 days, as we pass from infancy through being toddlers to children. Because these first days are so crucial for child development, it’s important to get nutrition right. The foods your child eats has a significant effect on everything from immune response to bone development, so a good early nutrition plan is crucial. The good news is that as a parent, you have complete power over your child’s meals in early life. This lets you make choices that will have positive long-term effects on your child’s health.
Early Child Nutrition Requires Balance
Early child nutrition involves not only knowing what to feed your child, the amount of food (how much) will be determined by your child’s appetite. Protein, for example, is an essential nutrient since it provides fodder for muscular development and it strengthens the immune system and metabolism. Even so, it is also important to give your child protein in
moderation. Too much protein can affect the kidneys badly and can also cause dehydration.
Foster Health With Varied Nutrition
Make sure that all meals contain the food groups and that you do not repeat the same foods in one day. Easier said than done. It is a good idea to plan meals in advance to help you manage this. Ensure that protein is low fat (such as chicken or fish, although not the take-away variety) or include lean beef and legumes, such as dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc. For vegetable servings, try to aim for at least two colours on the plate and of course some carbohydrates in the form of brown rice, wholewheat bread, whole grain pasta etc.
Supplement Where Necessary
It may be the case at times that certain nutrients are hard to find amongst currently available fresh produce. In these cases, fortified foods can make up for gaps so that balanced nutrition is still possible. Since children have varying appetites and can be picky, they may not always eat everything we offer to them. NIDO 3+ remains a nutritional foundation as it helps to form a safety net for micro-nutrients and protein at times when your child is not eating as well as you think he or she should. Children over the age of one require approximately 500ml of milk per day. Take care not to give your child more than this as filling up on milk can reduce their appetite for other foods