How your child eats today will have a striking impact on her health throughout adolescence and adulthood. Consuming nutritious foods helps children and teens grow, develop, do well academically and feel good about themselves. Good nutrition also helps prevent child and teen issues such as eating disorders, obesity, dental cavities and iron-deficiency anemia.
Childhood Obesity Prevention
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 25 percent of all children aged 2 to 18 years now meet the criteria for being overweight. Overweight and obese children are at greater risk for major health issues such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Teaching your child good nutrition habits from a young age can decrease the likelihood he will become overweight. Choosing nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables over empty-calorie foods such as cookies and sodas can help prevent childhood obesity and provide your child a much higher quality of life.
Support Optimal Growth
Children require a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, fish and adequate calories in order to grow and develop properly. It’s crucial that your child is consuming the essential nutrients she needs to grow. Calcium is of particular importance for children. An adequate calcium intake promotes optimal bone density which will assist teen growth and reduce the risk of bone loss in later life. The way children eat influences their growth and health during childhood, during adolescence and for the rest of their lives.
Importance of a Hearty Breakfast
Studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better in school. According to reports from the American Dietetic Association students who eat breakfast have better problem-solving abilities, recall, memory, verbal fluency and creativity. They are also less likely to be absent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children who do not eat breakfast, or eat an insufficient breakfast, are more likely to have behavioral, emotional and academic problems at school.
Poor Nutrition Consequences
A healthful diet and good nutrition are crucial in preventing some of the issues inadequate nutrition can cause such as short stature and delayed puberty, nutrient deficiencies and dehydration, menstrual irregularities, poor bone health, increased risk of injuries, poor academic performance and increased risk of eating disorders. Teaching children the importance of good nutrition throughout childhood will lay the foundation for a healthier more fulfilling life.
Article By Kristy Lee Wilson, Demand Media. Published on www.sfgate.com