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Free Diet Impacts on Childhood Normal Development Essay Sample

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Introduction

It has been argued out that the type of foods one eats do play an integral role in dictating their growth and development especially to children. thus it is a fact that poor food choices negatively impact on their growth and development while wise choices goes extra mile in improving as well as enhancing growth and development of children. It is worth mentioning from the onset that the food requirements of a child are not the same as that of an adult. Strictly speaking children can be divided into four major categories with varying dietary needs. The periods of children development include; adolescence, middle childhood years, preschool years and infancy (Kruger, 2006).

According to Dykman & Pivik, 2002 proper nutrition has been attributed to normal growth of children right from infancy into adulthood. They not only need energy but also to develop strong immunity. For that reason a balanced diet will help such individual grow to their fullest and have strong immune system. Before proceeding with the paper, it would be rational to define what normal growth is. The term is thought of as when children grow within an acceptable range for their heights as well as weight charts. It has been proved that the needs of child nutrition are dependent on the height, weight, level of daily activities and age.

Recommendation puts forth the following to be included in their diet; portions, liquids, grains, dairy products, fresh vegetables and fruits. It is worth mentioning that over nutrition or under nutrition can results to serious developmental and growth problems or disorders. The paper thus seeks to critically examine how diet can influence normal development in children. To do this over nutrition as well as under nutrition will be closely examined. Additionally, energy requirement for varying group will be summarized in a table.

Normal growth and development pattern

It is indeed true that during birth a child loses approximately between 5-10 percent of birth weight. However, after about two weeks, then the growth is three times hence growing at a faster rate. During the first year, height increases by about 50% and the circumference of the head by about 10cm.  When children turn two, the growth is slowed. Between age 2 and 5 years, body weight increases by approximately 2kg per annum (Department of Human Services, 2001).  While height increase yearly range between 7 and 8 cm. between age 6 and 11, weight gain range between 3-3.5 kg and height between 6 and 7 cm annually. During teenage age individual experience puberty which come with increase in weight and height. Most of them will look incline and klutzy.

Similarly, as children grow physically, internal organs also experience maximum maturation. The organs include kidney, brain, liver as well as other metabolic body functions. It is worth noting that it this stage, of growth especially at age 2 the brain uses a lot of glucose, for this reason, there is need to introduce a well balance weaning food to ensure that the process of brain development is not disrupted. With regards to energy, vitamin, mineral as well as protein needed in normal proportion, age, sex, height and weight of the individual dictates a lot.  For instance infants who are less than one year need more energy giving food. Infant would need about 5gm per kilogram each day of carbohydrate and essential fatty acids. The table below summarizes energy required depending on age and gender.

Table 1 Showing energy requirement

Male Energy Needs In Kcal

Female Energy Requirement In Kcal

Age

545.0

515.0

0-3 months

690.0

645.0

4-6 moths

825.0

765.0

7-9 moths

920.0

865.0

10-12 moths

1230.0

1165.0

1-3 years

1715.0

1545.0

4-6 years

1970.0

1740.0

7-10 years

2220.0

1845.0

11-14 years

2755.0

2210.0

15-18years

Eating habits of children

Having previously stated that the kind of food eaten by children does influence their health in the future, it is saddening that with the introduction of fast food; majority of present children take in more energy that they need. The tasty foods, full of energy that are easily available for children has made it a reality that milk in take, fruit as well as vegetable consumption has gone down. The results of all this has been health disorders that are linked to heart, liver, poor blood circulation systems among others (Wood, 2009).

Interestingly, research has shown that poor feeding habit to children negatively impact on their cognitive abilities. It is evident that balance of vital cofactors such as vitamins, carbohydrates, not only helps in prevention of chronic disease but also development of higher IQ levels (Kruger, 2006).  A study found out that children fed with food that has been processed having higher levels of sugar, sodium, fat potentially lower their cognitive ability. On the other hand, healthy meals that is balance and mainly natural play an integral part in contributing to a well developed brain hence higher level of IQ.

Similarly, under nutrition has been established to pose children to not only health risk but also impairing normal growth and development. Individuals who were deprived of necessary components and cofactors at early stages of their lives tend to be abnormally small in body size as compared to their counter parts who received a well balance meal. Some were extremely shorter and even underweight as a result s of missing some vital mineral and nutrients. Deprival of essential cofactors results to weak bones and muscles (Dykman & Pivik, 2002). On the same note, importer intake of protein, vitamin as well as other vital components makes children prone or vulnerable to repeated infection as they have no proper immune systems.

It will be rational to mention some nutrients that impact on growth of children. For instance deficiency of vitamin A, D and B6 can result to eye related problems, slow growth, losing hair, rickets and related bone problems, anemia and skin problems in that order.  Lack of enough protein leads to under nutrition as well as stunted growth (Pedriatic Oncall, 2008). Additionally, Anemia, bone problems as well as thyroid associated disorder come to existence due to deficiency in iron, calcium and iodine.  

Conclusion

From the review of how diet impacts childhood normal development, it is evident that the kind of diet taken dictates how children grow to adulthood. Additionally, the normal growth and development is as a result of careful balance of food intake. This is of essence because they grow both physically and mentally. As shown brain at age 1 to 2 years need lots of glucose or energy to fully develop. For that matter there is need to ensure that the supply is not interrupted by providing a well thought weaning foods.

Poor dietary behavior that has led to obesity in young people bringing such problems as heart diseases, liver and kidney disorders, breathing problem are all linked to consumption of fast food full in fat, sugar salt and calories. Proper diet to children helps them from the onset of their existence to developed strong immune systems. This is vital as it will fight against repeated infection that translates to loss of appetite.  It also noted that under nutrition results to impairment in growth. Individual will be shorter and under weight in case they are not provided with balanced diet. Interestingly poor diet is associated with lower cognitive ability hence problems when in school.

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