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How Diet Impacts Childhood Development Essay

1065 words - 4 pages

Children look up to primary caregivers, be it family, teachers, babysitters or peers, as role models. It is important to teach good eating habits by adults demonstrating to children. Parents and caregivers are responsible to help instill these lessons to become habits instead of just occasional instructions. A healthy diet that follows the food pyramid and calorie consciousness allows for flourishing growth in children. Good nutrition is vital for mental, emotional, physical, cognitive development, and reproductive health. Even before birth a proper diet is essential to nourish the fetus so it may be healthy. The needs of a growing child are fast and the nutritional diet needs to equal the ratio. The World Health Organization declares "malnutrition is globally the most important risk factor for illness and death, contributing to more than half of deaths in children worldwide; child malnutrition was associated with 54% of deaths in children in developing countries in 2001"(WHO, 2004).
Children deserve for their caregivers to help achieve highest levels of nutrition. They make choices on what is available and what is familiar to them. If a child sees an adult always eating candy then of course the child will turn to candy first instead of if the adult would eat an apple as their first choice. A balanced diet is one that includes all the food groups. Here is the list of food groups on the food pyramid from most important to least. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta group is on the bottom and you should get six to eleven serving a day of this group but a child only needs five to nine servings. The next group is the vegetable group. This group is kind of tricky because if you cook most vegetables it actually loses the nutrients and vitamins they provide so it’s better to steam vegetable if you going to cook them. You should get three-five servings of vegetables a day. The next group on the pyramid is the Fruits. This group is just a little smaller servings than the vegetables at two- four servings a day. The milk, yogurt, and cheese group along with the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts groups are both in the same serving amount at two-three servings a day. For children the meats, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts group serving is only one to two daily. Then the last group on the food pyramid is the fats, oils and sweets, this group use sparingly. When you look at a picture of the food pyramid, you can see that the group for meat and protein and oils are smaller and higher than the others. That's because you need less of those kinds of foods than you do of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy foods.
“Malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one third of all child deaths, although it is rarely listed as the direct cause. Lack of access to highly nutritious foods, especially in the present context of rising food prices, is a common cause of malnutrition. Poor feeding practices, such as inadequate breastfeeding, offering...

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