"The Role of Nutrition for our Survival" is a useful example of a paper on food and nutrition. Nutrition plays the most imperative part of our survival. During the formative years, it becomes more crucial to give appropriate nutrition to the child as it directly relates to the physical and mental growth and development. It is essential for an infant to get the proper diet for growth insufficient diet or diet lacking important components required for growth and development results in malnutrition and hence the cause of various diseases. Infant diet must be fortified with protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water providing everything that is required for good health and to grow as a healthy adult.
This fortification is imperative to enhance their body and mind performance. Consumption of a huge quantity of food at an unpredictable time is the positive sign of the growth during the early days after birth. It is recommended that babies must eat three ounces at one sitting. In a few months, their food habits are adjusted. During infancy, close monitoring is very imperative. It is essential to understand the behaviour of the infant; the infant must accept the food which is directly related to neuromotor maturation and interaction of parents.
An infant is able to absorb and digest human milk, cow milk and soy milk formulas. It is manifested that during infancy the size of the stomach is 10 to 20 ml and is increased to 200 ml after 12 months of age. After this interval, the enzymes mature and are activated. The stage followed by infancy is toddlerhood, form 1 year to 3 years, followed by preschool years 3-5 years.
Depending upon the growth spurts growth and development vary until it reaches plateaus. During this stage, there may be variations in the liking certain foods or dislikes for others. It is therefore essential to have an understanding of nutritional requirements for each age to meet the growing challenges. As compared to adults children require better nutrition for the development of bones, muscles, teeth and blood. Children require calcium for the development of bones and teeth along with protein, phosphorus and vitamin D. during infancy the child procure nutrition through breastfeeding but at the toddler age children needs two to four times calcium per kg of bodyweight the requirement is 500mg/day.
Milk and other milk products are rich in calcium and therefore must be consumed to avoid any risk of calcium deficiency. On the other hand, vitamin D is synthesized in the body on sun exposure. In the tropical area, RDA for children is between 0 and 2.5 µ g per day while those residing in temperate zone require 10 µ g/ day. Another mineral which is essential for proper development is zinc.
It is important for wound healing, a proper sense of taste, growth and appetite. Rich sources are meats and seafood and the daily requirement for a toddler is 10 mg/day. It is essential to understand that the brain develops rapidly till the age of 5 years and therefore this is the crucial time in the child development. Appropriate nutrition generates a healthy mind and devoid of any kind of ailments where malnutrition leads to poor growth and underdeveloped brain as well as poor memory and concentration. Breastfeeding is therefore recommended until the age of 2 years for preventing any kind of malnutrition provided mother’ s nutrition is good and appropriate.
Results state that breastfeeding provides an appropriate balance of fat and protein as well as complete nutrition. Research also reveals the fact that infants who are breastfed will possess a high degree of protection against diseases and tooth decay.
Herbes, K. 2004. Preschoolers and Toddlers, Diet of Nutrition and well-being A to Z.Available at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5200/is_2004/ai_n19120955/?tag=content; [Accessed on 12th March 2010].
Chapter 5- Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood. Available at http://education.gsu.edu/spehar/FOCUS/EdPsy/cw/aps/chapter5.htm. [Accessed on 12th March 2010].