The Importance of Nutrition in Infancy and Toddlerhood Period

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The Importance of Nutrition in Infancy and Toddlerhood period

There are different factors that have influence on the physical traits of a child. Children have unique characteristics and inborn traits which they inherit from their biological parents; however, not only genetics determine a child’s height or weight, but also good nutrition results in healthy physical and mental condition. Consequently, proper nutrition plays a significant role in children’s health and growth, whereas malnutrition can severely harm a child’s physical and mental development.

Parents who make sure their infants are well-nourished benefit their infants emotionally as well as physically. The act of feeding a child is an important emotional interaction between the infant and his or her parents. Especially, when mothers breast-feed their babies, they bond with their child and foster their connection. At the same time, breast milk within the first year reduces the risk of post neonatal death and prevents illnesses, such as diarrhea, respiratory, ear and urinary tract infections. Mothers who breast-feed their babies also benefit their child’s neurological development and cardiovascular health (Papalia, Olds, Feldman, 2008, p.148).

In consequence; good nutrition in the neonatal stage can greatly contribute to the child’s development and physical condition. Between the ages of 6 and 12 months it is important that parents feed their children iron-enriched solid foods, such as cereal. Before this age, breast milk or infant formula provides all the nutrition babies require. But by 6 months breastfed babies need additional iron and all babies (breastfed and formula-fed) benefit from exposure to more flavors, textures and eating skills. Babies who eat a variety of foods rarely need vitamin drops or supplements. While some parents may start solid foods too soon, other parents may wait too long to introduce new foods and new textures. Around the 6 month mark is the beginning of a critical...
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