Find Out if Your Child Nutrition is Adequate or NotSaturday, 3 March 2018
Every mom will agree that nutrition plays a big role in child growth. Giving balanced nutritional intake that has been matched with child’s need is a must. What does balanced nutritional intake means? Balanced nutritional intake is the intake of food that consist of wide variations of food and combined menu each day. Wide variations are given so the child can receive many kinds of nutrition that is needed by their body. One common mistake is to only focus on the quantity of the food but neglects the quality and their nutritional value. Then, what will happen if balanced nutritional intake is not met? This can lead to malnutrition, a condition where the body doesn’t get enough vitamin, mineral, and nutrient that is needed for the work of healthy organ and body tissue. Based on data from WHO in 2014, Indonesia is placed in the 17th from 117 country with high prevalence of wasting (thin stature) and stunting (small stature) in children under five years old. In a more detailed data, there is about 14 percent of children under five years that suffers from wasting, and stunting reached the highest proportion which is 35 percent. Despite their high incidence in Indonesia, stunting in children under five years old depict a malnutrition case that have an impact not only physically but also on the cognitive function. Meanwhile, from the report from UNICEF in 2011, in Indonesia, one of three children under five years old is having a moderate to severe stunting case (36 percent), ironically at the same time one of seven children in Indonesia is also overweight (14 percent) To find out whether your child’s nutrition intake covers their need, Moms can keep an eye out on this few points:
- Check on children growth The most common sign of a malnutrition children is the low speed of weight gain. Moms can use a growth chart with weight compared to length or height to monitor child’s development.
- Make a note Make a habit to write down the food and drink menu consumed by your child in certain period of time. With making notes, you can notice the nutrition that goes to your child’s body. Compared with the recommended nutrients needed by children their age, Moms can also evaluate whether child gets too much sugar, lack of variety in menu or even lack of fiber. In certain cases, notes can be brought to the pediatrician to be evaluated.
- Know the sign of malnutrition
Children that experiences malnutrition for a long period, besides having an unhealthy physical appearance, behavioral and organ function change, they could also have some of this sign:
- Skin has a certain color change, more pale or dry and also easily bruised.
- Hair easily falls off.
- Joint pain and fragile bone.
- Easily bleeding gum.
- Eyes gets more sensitive to light.
- Make sure child gets macronutrient and micronutrient intake
Micronutrients that are needed in children’s growth period are for example vitamin A, iron, zinc, folic acid, and yodium. Ingredients that contain these micronutrients to add in child’s daily menu:
- Vegetables: carrot, tomato, lettuce, corn, broccoli, spinach
- Fruits: apple, pear, banana, orange
- Bread and other cereals: breads, rice, pasta, cereal
- Milk product: cheese, yogurt, milk
- Meat: poultry, beef, fish
- EggsNote how to prepare food
- Note how to prepare food Don’t forget, how we prepare food can affect its nutritional value. Give food in portion suitable to child’s age, not too much. Last but not lease, the food making process has to be hygienic.