The nutrition your child receives will directly affect their cognitive development, including their ability to learn, solve problems and remember things. Read on to discover how good nutrition can ensure your child’s growth and development.
It feeds your child’s body and brain
Did you know that 85% of a child’s core brain structure is formed by the time they turn 5 years old?1 Therefore, it is vital for them to have enough nutrition from breast milk and/or fortified milk in order for their brain to properly develop. During their early years, you can help engage their mind and trigger their curiosity by helping them explore the world through simple cognitive exercises. For instance, getting them to search for a fruit in a specific colour whenever you bring them to the supermarket.
It helps your child to better experience the world
A child learns a lot from observing and interpreting through their eyes. The brain also plays a huge role by processing the information that their eyes take in. Therefore, they need to be able to absorb enough nutrients to properly develop their vision, build their muscles, strengthen their bones, and develop their motor skills. During this stage, find opportunities to engage their motor skills by playing physical games with them. A game of catch is pretty suitable as it requires your little one to focus and observe the movement of the ball. From that simple activity, they will learn about hand-eye coordination, the convergence of their eyes and visual-motor skills, preparing them for the vast world ahead.
It improves your child’s strength and resilience
To grow and learn, your child needs to explore and experience the world in person, and to do that, they require a healthy digestive and immune system on top of proper physical development, see Friso® Gold formula milk preserves natural nutrients for good digestion. Once their body is able to absorb the right nutrients, all of those will come naturally, and they will eventually conquer the world.
After learning about the importance of nutrition in your child’s growth and development, here are a few tips that can help you, as parents to ensure that your child eats well:
1. Let them try everything
All food groups have their own set of nutrients, so you should always encourage your child to try many different foods. As they may resist, it is your responsibility to help teach your child that different sources of essential nutrients are important to them.
2. Instil good eating habits from young
Plan a proper mealtime routine for the entire family to follow. Next, help them understand which foods are healthy and which aren’t. Developing a healthy eating habit should start from the very beginning.
3. Prep meals together with your child
It is always good for them to experience what it’s actually like to prepare meals. Have them tag along when you are buying the groceries. Then, back at the kitchen, delegate simple meal prepping tasks to them. They will most likely receive the food better once they are part of the process.
4. Don’t be so quick to give up
It’s perfectly normal for your child to resist or refuse to eat certain foods. However, you should not give up on teaching them. Instead, search for chances to reintroduce them to the food a week later. It can take around 10 to 12 tries before they develop a preference or liking, so don’t give up!
5. Reduce potential meal-time distractions
Meals should be fun, social and relaxed. But you should also try to minimise possible distractions at the table that would make your toddler lose interest in their food.
Having a meal together with your child should be relaxing and enjoyable. However, you should minimise potential distractions at the table that will make your child lose interest in their food, such as smartphones.
1 Edie, D. and Schmid, D. (2007). Brain Development and Early Learning. Quality Matters: A Policy Brief Series on Early Care and Education, Volume 1 (Winter 2007), 1-4.