In The News: Good Nutrition Vital for Young Children
Research continues to confirm the importance of good nutrition for children. In fact, according to Too Small to Fail, a public awareness initiative focused on promoting the importance of early brain development and empowering parents, the first two years may be the most important. But the effects of good nutrition began even earlier: they begin in-utero. Even as we understand more about the importance of early nutrition though, we are still faced with the staggering fact that more than 17 million children in the US live in households struggling to put food on the table.
Too Small to Fail reports that: “Good nutrition—especially during the first two years of life—is important to a developing child in several ways. The growing body requires a variety of vitamins, minerals and proteins for healthy development. And the young brain needs proper nutrition in order to develop normal cognitive, motor and socio-emotional skills.”
Yet not all parents have many choices when it comes to nutritious food. Millions struggles to provide even the basics and many children skip one or more meals a day. What happens when children don’t get the nutrition they need? The results can be devastating and affect many aspects of the child’s life. Too Young to Fail writes: “Pediatricians report that children who don’t get proper nutrition in the early years are more vulnerable to illness and chronic health conditions, and often test lower in math and reading. Many also experience emotional problems like anxiety and depression.”
Poor nutrition can even affect a child before that child is even born. Research shows that lack of nutritious food for pregnant mothers can cause problems for the baby that last throughout the baby’s life including high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.
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