Nutrition During the Infancy and Toddler Hood Essay

Pages: 3 (905 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Business

Nutrition During Infancy and Toddlerhood

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2010) adequate nutrition during infancy is essential for lifelong health and well-being. Malnutrition can be linked to 35% of the disease burden for children under five. Adequate infant and toddler nutrition is vital to improving child survival and promoting healthy growth and development. The first two years of a child's life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period will lead to reduced morbidity and mortality, to reduced risk of chronic diseases, and to overall better development. In fact, optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices are so critical that they can save the lives of 1.5 million children under five every year.

Pediatric Nutritional Recommendations

Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health (World Health Organization, 2010). Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods, while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years or more.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Essay on Nutrition During the Infancy and Toddler Hood Assignment

Cow's milk is not recommended during the first 12 months of life (Allen & Myers. 2006). However, fortified cow's milk is an important dietary component of a toddler's diet because of its high-quality protein, calcium, and vitamins A and D. Calcium is involved in bone growth, tooth development, and muscle contraction, and it may play a role in the regulation of blood pressure and body fat. One study showed that children who consumed milk with the noontime meal were the only group to meet or exceed 100% of the daily Dietary Reference Intake for calcium (i.e., 500 to 800 mg). Two or three servings of milk or dairy products per day are recommended to meet these requirements. Some toddlers are poorly weaned from an all-milk diet and consume more than the recommended number of servings; this "milk diet" is high in fat and total calories and inadequate in iron.

Dangers of Malnutrition

The World Health Organization defines malnutrition as the cellular imbalance between supply of nutrients and energy and the body's demand for them to ensure growth, maintenance, and specific functions. Malnutrition affects virtually every organ system. Children are most vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition in infancy and early childhood. Malnutrition is globally the most important risk factor for illness and death, contributing to more than half of deaths in children worldwide.

Energy is essential for all biochemical and physiologic functions in the body. Dietary protein is needed to provide amino acids for synthesis of body proteins and other compounds that have various functional roles. Micronutrients are essential in many metabolic functions in the body as components and cofactors in enzymatic processes. Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), first described in the 1920s, is observed most… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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