Nutrition for Child Development

Definition

The process of being nourished; specifically the processes by which the body takes in and utilizes food substances to maintain physical and mental functions.  Additionally, nutrition is the study of food and nutrients, including understanding their action, interaction, and balance within the body and how they relate to health. 

Benefits and Uses

  • Provides stable energy
  • Increases cognitive function
  • Promotes the development of numerous brain functions
  • Improves mood
  • Increases concentration
  • Improves learning capabilities
  • Promotes problem solving abilities
  • Decreases anxiety and stress
  • Benefits overall physical health in order to aid mental health
  • Improves numerous mental disorders

What to expect

As a child’s brain and body develop, proper nutrition is necessary to promote the development of their ability to communicate, learn, think analytically, socialize, and adapt to new environments and people.  Every child requires nutritional balance, which includes healthy carbohydrates (such as whole grain pasta and bread), lean proteins (such as beans and chicken), and healthy fats (such as nuts and avocado).  Portion control is also imperative in child nutrition, as it is necessary that they receive enough food without overfeeding them (which can cause negative mental and medical effects).  A key rule is that the closer a food is to its natural state, the more nutritious and beneficial it will be for a child’s development.

Who Should Consider It:

You should consider incorporating more and/or different nutrition into your child’s diet if they:

  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Have problems learning
  • Regularly show hyperactive and/or anxious behaviors
  • Are often irritable
  • Have difficulty controlling their mood
  • Are regularly sick or not feeling well physically
  • Have problems sleeping
  • Often feel lethargic

More Information

http://www.nfsmi.org/