As your child continues to grow, he might require more food than an adult because apart from the fact that food is needed to sustain life, the child needs food to grow. If you do not feed him correctly, he will face the childhood monster – malnutrition.
Malnutrition is dangerous to your child because it will lower your child’s resistance towards childhood diseases which in many cases is a determining factor between life and death. Malnutrition has also been found to be a contributing factor to the instability of the nervous system, and it might even result in the retarded mental development. These dangers are so far reaching in the life of the baby such his entire life is depended upon the right eating at his early life.
Now, do not be mistaken that it is only children from a poor background that are faced with the challenge of malnutrition, as a matter of fact even children from well-off families have been found to be malnourished. How is that possible, you wonder? Read on to find out how.
Factors that Contribute to Malnourishment
Malnutrition can be majorily caused by poor eating habits, physical defects, mental disturbance, and dawdling. We will take a closer look at each of these below:
Poor eating habits occur when a child is fed on certain foods that do not contain the much-required nutrients for proper child growth and development such as too many sweet foods, candy, fast eating, poor chewing and irregular eating patterns.
When as a mother you provide your child with a variety of foods, your child is likely to select only those foods that he likes even if they are nutritious and leave out those that are more beneficial to his health. As a mother, never allow your kid to choose the food he should eat because the child is likely to want only sweet foods which might contain just empty calories and leave that food that is good for bodybuilding and general health.
Another problem is when a child eats very fast. This habit will not allow the child to chew the food well which is likely to lead to indigestion and constipation. Also as you are well aware, digestion begins in the mouth. So, ensure that your child chews his food well such that it is well mixed with the saliva to enhance digestion. When the food is not chewed correctly, it may lead to non-assimilation of the food taken and loss of appetite which leads to malnutrition.
Irregular eating patterns may also lead to malnutrition. If you allow your kid to overeat at one meal such that he misses the other meals, it might cause digestion upsets and hence spoil the appetite for the next meal consequently irregular eating patterns.
Good food is the foundation of good health; I cannot overemphasize on that. The basis for your child to form good eating habits can only be laid while he is young.