A child’s health always begins with good nutrition. What your child eats will determine not only their health, but their comfort and ability to properly develop as well. But millions of children are affected by malnutrition every year. Malnutrition is considered to be the cause of almost half of childhood deaths for children under the age of five. In the cases where it doesn’t lead to death it can cause some pretty devastating results such as, the irreversible stunting of a child’s mental and physical growth.
Preventing Malnutrition in Children
Keeping your child properly nourished starts inside the womb. A child is at an increased risk of suffering from malnutrition very early on in its development – about 1,000 days from the start of a woman’s pregnancy up until the child’s second birthday. This means that the first diet that matters for a child’s nutrition is the mother’s diet.
The mother needs to eat frequently and include a wide variety of nutrients and minerals in their diet. They should avoid foods that are “empty” calories. Expecting mothers should also consider taking vitamin supplements to make sure they are getting all the recommended daily number of vitamins and minerals.
The Importance of Vitamin A and Iron
Two nutrients that are absolutely important for your child’s nutrition early on are iron and vitamin A. Iron is responsible for red blood cell production and is needed to encourage the delivery of oxygen to other parts of the body and the prevention of anemia.
Your child needs vitamin A to keep their immune system functioning properly. A lack of vitamin A cannot only make your immune system weaker, but it can also lead to blindness, especially in children.