Malnutrition amongst children: Could my child be malnourished?

Malnutrition amongst children has always been a prime concern in India, especially in those who hail from economically weaker classes. However, even children from well-to-do families can be susceptible to this condition, thanks to ill-informed food choices and the junk food culture that’s taking over the nation.

You always want the best for your child. But in the midst of your busy work schedule and all the chaos of multi-tasking, do you sometimes lose track of your child’s nutrition and health? Malnutrition is not just limited to kids from economically week backgrounds. Your child could be susceptible to it too. Read on to find out more about this health issue and how you can ensure that your child has it all.

What is malnutrition?

An unbalanced diet, lacking essential micro and macronutrients when consumed on a regular basis, may make a child more susceptible to illnesses due to lack of immunity, making him/her more prone to deficiency diseases. This condition is known as malnutrition. Moon face, pot belly, dry skin, pale appearance, an increased susceptibility to infections and other diseases are characteristic signs of a malnutritioned child.

Is my child under risk too?

Being born in a wealthy family doesn’t necessarily imply that your child is safe from this disorder. Consumption of processed foods and improper diet plans, coupled with negligence on the caretaker’s part can play a large role in making your child malnutritioned too. Growing children need special attention, and so do their diets.

Does fat mean healthy?

Fat does not mean healthy. A couple of extra layers of fat under the skin will not compensate for the lack of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients your child requires for his/her body to function healthily.

A balanced diet – what can I do?

It’s important to give your child a balanced diet and not just ready-to-eat meals and soft drinks. Fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably raw, should make up for a good percentage of your child’s daily diet. Make sure your child is loaded up on vitamin A, C and E. These essential vitamins strengthen immunity and boost overall health. Also, make sure your child is involved in outdoor activities in order to meet the needs of vitamin D which boosts muscle and skeletal growth.

Calcium, iron and phosphorous are essential for brain development and cognitive growth. Pile up on the greens on your next trip to the supermarket. Animal proteins make up for most of your kid’s daily dietary requirements, but if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll have to consider getting supplements for your child. Talk to your nutritionist for a better idea of what’s best for your child. In the end, a healthy lifestyle coupled with a balanced diet, moderate exercise and positive thinking is the key to a healthy and happy child.

Photograph via sxc.hu

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