Category: Child Nutrition

Child’s Immunity and Growth

Child’s Immunity and Growth

The importance of good nutrition in raising healthy children is fundamental. But did you know that to help children grow and develop physically, a strong and developed immune system plays a vital role too?

Nutrition is in fact an important determinant of our “immune responses” which is how the body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses and substances that are foreign and harmful. Poor nutrition affects one’s immune system which increases the risk of infection, leading to poor appetite and the danger of this becoming a vicious cycle.

More than adults, children need complete and balanced nutrition to develop a strong immune system, reducing sick days that interfere with their growth and development.

A few ways to help children develop their immunity and fuel their growth is by supporting their nutrition. Growing children need Vitamin C to build their immune system and get sufficient antioxidants. Zinc is also necessary to protect against falling ill and to recover sooner from illnesses. Moreover, probiotics and prebiotics help support a healthy digestive system and immune system too.

In conclusion, adequate nutrient supply is necessary to support the growth potential as well as the immune system of children.


Is your child a Picky eater? What to do if your child is a picky eater?

Is your child a Picky eater? What to do if your child is a picky eater? 

  • Does your child prefer playing to eating?
  • Does your child cry at the sight of food or resist feeding by crying or refusing to open their mouth?
  • Does your child dislike a certain food because of its look, smell, or taste?
  • Do you think your child has a small appetite despite an intake of a variety of food?
Choose a feeding behavior that best applies to your child for some feeding guidelines to make sure your child’s growth will be on track!
Manage mealtimes
  • Establish set meal and snack time for your child.
  • Limit the duration of meals to 20-30 minutes, unless your child is still actively eating
Select appropriate food
  • Encourage your child to practice chewing and swallowing by introducing soft, smooth-textured food.
Address the fear
  • Gradually introduce your child to items that he associates with feeding (high chair, spoon, etc.) outside of mealtimes.
Learn to understand your child’s hunger signals
  • Feed your child when he shows signs of hunger and end meals when he shows signs of being full.
Choose healthy food
  • As much as possible, provide unprocessed food like fruits, vegetables, fortified cereals, or grains, nuts or seeds, meat, poultry, fish or legumes, and dairy products.
Create the “Family Table” as soon as your child begins to eat solid food
  • Sit together as a family as often as possible during mealtimes.
Consistently offer new food.
  • At least once a day, offer your child a small amount of food that she doesn’t eat or hasn’t tried before. Put a small amount of the new food on her plate along with food that your child likes.
Consistently offer new food.
  • At least once a day, offer your child a small amount of food that she doesn’t eat or hasn’t tried before. Put a small amount of the new food on her plate along with food that your child likes.

3 Role of Natural Vitamin K2 in Kids

Role of Natural Vitamin K2 in Children

Did you know Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is beneficial for strong bone formation.

Without it, decreased bone mass, and increased risk of bone fracture can occur.

(Natural Vitamin K2 helps the functions of osteocalcin and it is beneficial for strong bone formation.

Vitamin K2 activates osteocalcin which binds calcium and transport to bones to ensure natural strength and growth of bones.)

Vitamin K2 found in fermented foods.

Kids need to get enough calcium to get strong bones and Vitamin K2 also plays an essential role in bone metabolism and support the development of strong, healthy bones needed to grow taller. When inadequate nutrition and growth are a concern, parents may consider supplementing their dietary nutrition to improve nutrient absorption.

Ref: Van Summeren MJ et al. Br J Nutr (2008), 100, 852-858. Vitamin Status is associated with childhood bone mineral content.

Role of Arginine in Kids

Role of Arginine in Kids

During the first five years of life, all children have the same opportunity to grow taller as long as they have access to sufficient nutrition and a nurturing environment free from illness. That’s because essential nutrients are absolutely vital for bone growth.

Clinical study showed stunted children have lower serum levels of Arginine compared to non-stunted children* and Arginine consumption has been associated with increased growth velocity in children.

Arginine is found in protein-rich foods such as nuts, grains, legumes, meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. Arginine promotes the multiplication of cells at the growth plate in bones to help bones grow longer.

If the diet is unable to provide the necessary nutrients such as Arginine for the development of the child, parents may consider supplementing their dietary nutrition to improve nutrient absorption.

*Based on an observational study in healthy children with lower arginine intake of < 2.2g/d compared with an arginine intake between 2·5 and 3·2 g/d and protein intake < 58 van Vught et al. Brit J Nutr. 2013;109:1031-9

 

Ref: Van Vugh AJ et al. Br J Nutr (2013), 109, 1031-1039. Dietary arginine and linear growth: the Copenhagen school child intervention study.

Importance of Physical Activity For Growth

Importance of Physical Activity For Growth

Are you allowing your child to be in front of a screen too much? Learning from technology is good, but moderation is key. Here are some activities that are helpful to your child’s development.
Plant a Seed

If your child already loves digging, have them help with the garden. Teach your child to water the plants every day and to remove the pests from it too. Your child will learn how a plant grows as they take care of it day by day.

 

 Zoo Visits

Going to the zoo with your child is a learning experience for them and will spark their curiosity. Seeing a lion or a giraffe for the first time will make an impression on your child, and will have them talking about it for days.

 Toy Wash

Perfect indoor (or outdoor) activity for your child. Get one tub with soap and another one without. Not only is it a fun activity for your child, it combats bacteria that are lurking on the toys.

Go for a Picnic

Set a picnic date and prepare simple food like sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, and drinks that both your child and you would enjoy. It’s an eye-opening experience for your child to explore the world outside.

Little Kitchen Helper

Allow your child to help you in the kitchen when you prepare a meal. Teach your child to wash vegetables or let him or her beat an egg. It’s a great opportunity for your child to play at being a sous-chef.

 Treasure Hunt

Make a list of items to hide around the house. Give your child clues (written or drawn) for them to find.

2 To 3 Years Old

Plant a Seed

If your child already loves digging, have them help with the garden. Teach your child to water the plants every day and to remove the pests from it too. Your child will learn how a plant grows as they take care of it day by day.

 Zoo Visits

Going to the zoo with your child is a learning experience for them and will spark their curiosity. Seeing a lion or a giraffe for the first time will make an impression on your child, and will have them talking about it for days.

 Toy Wash

Perfect indoor (or outdoor) activity for your child. Get one tub with soap and another one without. Not only is it a fun activity for your child, it combats bacteria that are lurking on the toys.

3 Years Onward

Go for a Picnic

Set a picnic date and prepare simple food like sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, and drinks that both your child and you would enjoy. It’s an eye-opening experience for your child to explore the world outside.

Little Kitchen Helper

Allow your child to help you in the kitchen when you prepare a meal. Teach your child to wash vegetables or let him or her beat an egg. It’s a great opportunity for your child to play at being a sous-chef.

 Treasure Hunt

Make a list of items to hide around the house. Give your child clues (written or drawn) for them to find.


Importance of Appetite For Growth

Importance of Appetite For Growth

The importance of your child having a good appetite is not just for them to achieve their optimal growth. If they do not maintain a healthy appetite, problems can pop up in other areas of their life. Here’s why your child’s appetite is of utmost importance

Did you know that the first five years of a child’s life is the window of opportunity for growth? A child’s appetite or lack of it affects his/her food consumption and may result in insufficient nutrient intake for optimal growth.

Make sure to include iron as you feed your little one because children with low iron levels have reduced appetite. Feed your child iron-rich foods like watercress, kale, and meat.

Feed your child foods with essential nutrients that support his or her body defense system. If your child falls sick frequently, it will affect their physical growth, cognitive, and social experiences.

Did you know, prebiotics and probiotics are good bacteria in your child’s body that promotes a healthy gut environment? Probiotics are live cultures lingering around your child’s intestines. Whereas prebiotics are friendly bacteria that stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in your child’s gut system. In other words, prebiotics are food for the probiotics.

Is your child ready for preschool?

At preschool, your child needs energy to learn new skills, attain knowledge, and most of all, have fun all day! Whether your child is learning to read, solving a puzzle, or playing at the playground, energy is important to an active child. So how do you ensure your child has sufficient energy? Make sure their food intake includes important nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins to sustain energy throughout the day.

Did you know how your child eats will impact their eating habits later in life? Early childhood is the golden opportunity for them to develop his or her eating behavior. As a parent, you must always encourage your to establish a nutritious eating pattern. Work to get your child used to eating nutritious foods.


Food Guide for Healthy Nutrition

Food Guide for Healthy Nutrition

A balanced diet must contain sufficient amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in the required amounts*.
Each of these nutrients has a vital role in the all-round growth and development of children

Nutrient list with functions:

Carbohydrates

Provides a source of energy. In a child’s active lifestyle, carbohydrates is a vital source of energy to keep them active.

Protein

 Required for growth and repair. In years of rapid growth, children need proteins in adequate amounts to maximize growth potential.

Fat

Provides a supplementary source of energy and is required for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Vitamins

Required in very small quantities to keep your child healthy.

Minerals

Required for healthy teeth, bones and muscles. Significant development of teeth, bones, and muscles happens by 10 years of age.

Fiber

Helps maintain a good intestinal function. Fiber is not digestible and helps to promote good bowel movement

*A balanced diet is the presence of these nutrients in the right proportions.


Factors Affecting Growth

Factors Affecting Growth

There are a couple of key factors to keep in mind to achieve your child’s optimal growth potential.
Here are a few factors that affects growth:
Nutritional Inadequacy 1
Feeding Issues 2
Health Conditions 1

Common Types of Feeding Difficulties:

General Feeding Rules:

Reference:
1. Katona & Katona-Apte. The Interaction between Nutrition & Infection. 2008
2. Kerzner et al. A Practical Approach to Classifying and Managing Feeding Difficulties. 2014

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