Children require proper nutrition for healthy growth and development. The importance of consuming nutritious foods in early childhood sets the tone for optimal health and quality of life in adulthood. According to the World Health Organization (2016), good nutrition is defined as the intake of an adequate, well balanced diet in relation to the body’s dietary needs. A balanced diet provides children with the specific nutrients needed to thrive and grow through their lifelong development. Although nutrition can affect every area of development, it is important for parents to consider the relation between nutrition and mental health.
Moreover, this research paper will explore health determinants, the education curriculum, physical activity and nourishment. The aim of this paper is to analyze how nutrition affects mental health amongst young children. If there is more awareness surrounding early childhood nutrition, then children will eat nutritious foods and decrease their chances of having a mental health problem.
Nutrition and Mental Health
Child development relies on nutrition. An important theme in nutrition literature is mental health and its correlation with what children eat. Research suggests that dietary intake may be a significant factor to childhood neurocognitive development, behavior and specific psychiatric disorders (Tomlinson, Wilkinson & Wilkinson, 2009). In the first few months of life, infants who are breast fed have improved cognitive abilities as opposed to their counterparts. Breast milk has high levels of protein, essential fatty acids and maternal immunoglobins that aid in healthy brain development (Tomlinson et al., 2009). Formula milk supplemented wit...
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...ith family and in social groups (Bevans et al., 2011). Would children grasp the important teachings of school nutrition programs and display those behaviors at home or would they forget all about it? Research needs to address the importance of availability more clearly. Furthermore, research regarding guidelines suggest that parents should understand what they should be feeding their children but there if a significant gap in literature for parents understanding how they should encourage their children to eat healthier (Hart et al., 2015). The cons for this literature analyzed is that each study looks at children in happy families, with a moderate income and no other worries other than nutrition. Studies also concentrate on children in a reputable day care or preschool setting without the inclusion of children without education or those that are home schooled.
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