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When should I be concerned about my child’s growth?

Watching your child grow is both fascinating and a matter of pride. The most extraordinary period of growth and development in a child’s life is from birth till 5 years of age.

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Keep a Check on your Child's Growth and Development
Watching your child grow is both fascinating and a matter of pride. The most extraordinary period of physical child growth and development is from birth till 5 years of age. As children progress through various stages child growth and development, all children do not attain the milestones of development at the same time. Children develop skills in varying time frames depending on their unique differences. However, it is advisable to be watchful and monitor their overall growth i.e., physical and behavioural.

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Keep a check on your child’s development

Here are a few pointers that you must keep in mind while monitoring your child’s physical development and growth.

a) By the age of 2-3 years, your child should be able to walk, run, climb and jump easily, able to open doors, play with other children and get dressed without help.
b) By the age of 5 years your child will be able to use objects to build a tower, match and name colours, answer simple questions & enjoy rhymes, stories & jokes.
c) Seek advice if your 3-year old tends to fall a lot or does not show interest in playing or if your 5-year old shows stammering or hesitates to play with other children.

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Here’s how poor nutrition may affect your child’s growth and development

The implications of poor nutrition can be short and long term. Here are a few implications:

a) Lack of nutrients can compromise your child’s immunity. They can easily fall prey to infections.
b) Deficiency of zinc can result in poor growth, hair loss, diarrhoea, weak immunity, and skin problems.
c) Vitamin A deficiency may impair vision, especially at night along with a drop in immunity
d) Not only macronutrients but micronutrients and their deficiencies can also cause growth retardation.

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Importance of the right nutrients for a healthy child

The overall child growth and development and timely reaching of milestones is dependent on many environmental factors of which balanced nutrition is a key factor. As the nutrient requirements for pre-schoolers has increased at this stage you need to ensure adequate supply of nutrient dense foods to their small tummies to prevent any delay in reaching these developmental milestones. Below mentioned is the food group classification based on main core nutrients that they provide to the body.

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ENERGY RICH FOODS
Major NutrientsFoodsOther Nutrients Provided
Major Nutrients
  • Carbohydrates and fats
Foods
  • Whole grain cereals, millets
  • Vegetable oils, ghee, butter
  • Nuts and oilseeds
  • Sugars
Other Nutrients Provided
  • Protein, fibre, minerals, calcium, iron & B-complex vitamins
  • Fat soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids
  • Proteins, vitamins, minerals
  • Nil

 

BODY BUILDING FOODS
Major NutrientsFoodsOther Nutrients Provided
Major Nutrients
  • Proteins
Foods
  • Whole grain cereals, millets
  • Milk and Milk products
  • Meat, fish, poultry
Other Nutrients Provided
  • Protein, fibre, minerals, calcium, iron & B-complex vitamins
  • Calcium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12
  • B-complex vitamins, iron, iodine, fat

 

PROTECTIVE FOODS
Major NutrientsFoodsOther Nutrients Provided
Major Nutrients
  • Vitamins and Minerals
Foods
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Other vegetables and fruits
  • Eggs, milk, milk products & flesh foods
Other Nutrients Provided
  • Antioxidants, fibre and other carotenoids
  • Fibre, sugar and antioxidants
  • Protein and fat