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  • ROLE OF NUTRITION IN CHILDHOOD

    Period of childhood begins after infancy and continues uptil Puberty (adolescent age). During this period changes in one's body takes place with respect to height and weight. Therefore it becomes important to monitor growth pattern the child in order to rule out any nutritional deficiency.

    Usually body composition of pre-school and school age children remains constant. Fat content decreases during early childhood years. thereafter , however, children may face /adiposity rebound in other words increase in body weight. This may be due to preparation of pubertal growth spurt or changes in diet. Along with these changes , one may also observe changes such as boys may have more lean body mass whereas on the contrary girls may have more percentage of body fat.

    Therefore a complete assessment in regards to nutritional status includes height, weight for height, bosy mass index ( BMI), upper arm circumference, triceps and subscapscular folds. These should be checked periodically.

    One must keep in mind that with growing age there are changes in one's body in terms of bones, teeth, muscles & blood. Therefore nutritional requirements for macro and micro nutrients increase. Though need for energy and protein is based on rate & stage of growth vitamins & minerals like Iron, Calcium. Zinc, Vit D etc cannot be neglected as reduced intake of these can result in deficiency disorders . Besides these one should even look forward for protecting the  child against toxic substances like lead , arsenal, cadmium etc. Intake of these can result in certain cancers, developmental delays etc.

    Thus we should select & plan a balanced diet for children comprising of adequate amounts of fruits , vegetables, whole grain products , diary products, fish, meat, poultry & legumes.

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