Some 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” told his students: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food. “Indeed, nutritious food provides more than health and healing.[pq]Sound nutrition or lack of it affects your kids’ bodies, minds, moods and well being.[/pq]
With proper nutrition, let us count the ways how we bless our young:
There’s no way to get around it, proper nutrition begins in the womb. Even if your kids are six or 12 or 18 years old, their health was affected by how you, the mother, ate during pregnancy. Well nourished pregnant moms generally give birth to heavier, healthier babies. Being born underweight or less than 2.5 kg increases an infant’s risk for developmental handicaps, birth defects, respoiratory and other infectrious diseases, behavior prpblems, and other complicatons.
Sound nutrition supplies power for the body. The food your kids eat provides the energy their bodies need to function. Just like you need to put fuel in your car or recharge your cell phone battery, the body needs to be fed energy provideing good every day. The main form of energy for your body is carbohydrates. Glucose, a component of carbohydrates, is the body’s favorite fuel. The body can also turn up glucose from protein or fats but unlike a gas tank that spills out the excess when filled up to overflowing excess body fuel is stored in the body as fat.
Good nutrition provides materials for guilding and repairs in the body. Proteins in the food your children eat break down into amino acids. Muscles contain lots of protein through food intake, that protein is replenished. Calcium is another raw material needed by the body for bone and tooth strength. Also, fats are needed to transport vitamisn all over the body.
Sound nutrition promotes sound body functions. Vitamins and minerals from food are as improtant as carbohydrates, protein, and fats; kids need them in small amounts. Vitamins and minerals usually function as co-enzymes they coax chemical reactions in the body to happen a lot faster. Say, B vitamins help the body burn carbohydrates for energy. Vitamin A is needed for vision, zinc takes part in may metabolic processes amd vitamin C helps keep connective tissue storng and the immunce system functioning.
Good nutrition protects the body from diseases and dangers in the environment. Phytochemicals found in the colorful parts of fruits and vegetables aren’t required for body functioning but they have a very powerful impact on health.
Good nutrition enhances your kids’ capacity to learn and perform mental tasks. Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional problems of children in the country. Iron deficiency during infancy may cause a permanent loss of I.Q. Later in life. Iron deficiency and anemia lead to shortened attention span, irritability, fatigue, and difficulty with concentration. Anemic children tend to do poorly on vocabulary, reading and other tests.
Nutrition for better behavior, emotional well being and self esteem. It’s not what’s eating your kids, it’s what they’re eating. Nutrition can affect individaul behavior, (e.g. concentration, activity levels?, which, in turn, affect school performance and interaction with peers, and to compromise self esteem. For example, lack of thiamin (vitamin B) in the diet appears to be related to irritability, aggressiveness, and personality changes.
Proper nutrition is linked to development of children’s brain and bodies. Your children’s brains grew rapidly during the last four months of pregnancy and during the fist two years of life. The connections between the nerve cells in the brain were being formed at that time. Good nutrition ensures that this occurs properly.
Sound nutrition plus physical activity control weight, build lean muscle, and reduce fat. Physical activity provides needed nutrients to the brain: your children exchange about 10 percent of oxygen with each normal breath, meaning that about 90 percent of the oxygen is not used until they take deep breaths or engage in physical activity. A lack of oxygen to the brain may result in disorientation, confusion, fatigue, sluggish concentration, and memory problems.
Sound nutrition promotes long life. Experts affirm that the nutritional value of food intake becomes very important as people age, so adequate attention must be given to the quality of the food your kids consume. Healthy eating habits can persist to curb the ravages of disease, debility, and infections on into a ripe age.