PSY104: Child and Adolescent Development (BOG1107A)
Dr. Rebecca Wilson
February 20, 2011
The Importance of Adequate Nutrition in Infants and Toddlers
Beginning at birth, human beings require wholesome nutritional meals to develop and maintain a healthy life. In this paper I would like to explain why adequate nutrition is especially important for infants and toddles.
Nutrition is important for infants because before birth they have been nourished by their mother’s body and have been protected by her immune system through an umbilical cord transmission. An article “The anti-infective properties of human milk”, (2008), Chirico, Marzollo, Cortinovis, Fonte, and Antonella state that “increased neonatal susceptibility to infection is a direct consequence of the challenging immunological adaptation during the transitional period from intro-to extrauterine life” (p. 1801s). In order to maintain the “maternal-fetal immunological link after birth” (p. 1801s), breast feeding is recommended.
Breastfeeding is important because the continued transmission of the “immunocompetence” in a mother’s breast milk (Chirico et al, 2008, p. 1801s) helps the infant’s immature immune system which is less susceptible to many infections that it is not capable of handling on its own. There are many benefits of a mother’s breast milk in fighting infections and some are the reduction of urinary tract infections, ear infections, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal infections.
Along with fighting off infections breast milk may seem to reduce the risk of infant mortality, and benefit visual acuity, neurological development and cardiovascular health. Breast milk may even prevent obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancers. Breast feeding should begin immediately following birth and should continue for at least the first year.
As an infant grows so does their nutritional needs. Most infants are ready to begin...