Suffering of innocent infants and child diet.
Suffering of innocent infants and child diet.
Teri Reynolds once said that-
“It is hard to talk about a middle ground for something that is a fundamental right.”
This is true when applied to child health and diet care, anywhere around the globe.
An established fact about child health care is that only 9.6% of children between 6-23 months in the country India receive an adequate diet (NFHS 4, 2015-16.
More than 50% of the pregnant women aged 15-49 years were found to be anaemic (NFHS 4, 2015-16).
One thing which is being observed for many years about child health and maternity, care in India and many other countries, where there are lack of the general medical facilities available is that, the rural residents there face 70% and 55% chances respectively to mother and child of being prescribed the wrong treatment and diet.
Further, suffering of child is relevant to health crisis occurring in child and mother’s diet because malnutrition is a major contributor to the total global disease burden.
More than one third of child deaths worldwide are attributed to under-nutrition. Not only the born kids, but the one who are not born yet, are also the victims of malnutrition and undernourishment.
Many experts, who studied about this issue, including the child diet experts from WHO and some NGOs who look after the health issues faced by the infants worldwide, had stated that on an average the wastage of food is happening over the globe is well enough to feed the children coming from remote areas where the basic necessity is not fulfilled even by the government.
In 2012, the World Health Assembly identified six nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025. These require governments to reduce stunting by 40% in children under 5 and prevalence of anaemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49 years, ensure 30% reduction in low-birth weight and no increase in childhood overweight, increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50% and reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.
According to THE HINDU, “Inequity is a cause of malnutrition — both under-nutrition and overweight, obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases. Inequities in food and health systems exacerbate inequalities in nutrition outcomes that in turn can lead to more inequity, perpetuating a vicious cycle,”.
India is way long back to achieve its target of health and diet related issues.
Another key point is that child health is not only constrained to diet and medial awareness, but also the daily routine followed by them. This includes the regular exercise, balanced food intake, appropriate knowledge of health and well being, basic ethics to be followed during eating and food wastage.
Further studies reveal that in the first 2 years of a child’s life, optimal nutrition fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development. It also reduces the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life.
Some of the very important points to be kept in mind for the diet of an infant and a child.
• Infants should be given breast feed during first 6 months until 2 years of age and beyond.
• From 6 months of age, Salt and sugars should not be added to complementary foods.
Fruits and Vegetables:
• Always include high proportion of vegetables in meals.
• Eating fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season.
• Eating as much as variety of fruit and vegetables.
• Reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy intake.
• Reducing trans-fats to less than 1% of total energy intake.
• Replacing both saturated fats and trans-fats with unsaturated fats in particular, with polyunsaturated fats.
• Steaming or boiling instead of frying when cooking.
• Replacing butter, lard and ghee with oils rich in polyunsaturated fats, such as soybean, canola (rapeseed), corn, and safflower and sunflower oils.
• Eating reduced-fat dairy foods and lean meats, or trimming visible fat from meat.
• Limiting the consumption of baked and fried foods, and pre-packaged snacks and foods (e.g. doughnuts, cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits and wafers) that contain industrially-produced trans-fats.
• Limiting the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce, fish sauce and bouillon) when cooking and preparing foods.
• Not having salt or high-sodium sauces.
• Limiting the consumption of salty snacks.
• Choosing products with lower sodium content.
• Limiting the consumption of foods and drinks containing high amounts of sugars (sugary snacks, candies and sugar-sweetened beverages).
• Eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks instead of sugary snacks.
Overall, child’s diet and health is a notable for its impact on our society. After all the present generation is going to become the future of this world. The healthier they’ll become, the more developed and healthy future we’ll have.
Child health is a rich subject for further investigation and influence.