Nutrition During Infancy and Toddler-Hood Essay

Total Length: 642 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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The toddler gains self-feeding skills and, thus, becomes more in control of what he or she will actually consume. So, those good nutritional habits and foods that a parent has introduced in the formative months, become even more critical to good nutrition as a toddler. If the baby has learned the tastes of good nutrition, those will continue with them as a toddler, young child, etc. And if bad nutritional habits have been developed -- for example, too much sugar -- it could affect the child's health for a lifetime.

Obesity, as we have mentioned, is an enormous problem with children. Its importance has risen dramatically over the past decade as a part of the public health issues. Besides obvious health considerations, poor nutrition leading to excess weight can lead to low self-esteem, diabetes, hypertension, and other weight-induced difficulties. However, it should be emphasized that, in toddlers, diets should not be restricted to strict low-fat, or low-calorie diets as these may lead to restriction of much needed nutrients and unbalanced intake of food groups required at this age for mental, physical, and bone growth.
Healthy food choices and an increase in physical activity might be recommendations in cases such as these.

So, what are suitable foods for this toddler-age group? Carbohydrates like bread, pasta or rice, but in relatively small amounts since carbs can interfere with the absorption of some minerals. Fruit and vegetables in almost any amount should be consumed several times a day. Milk and dairy foods are important. And meat, fish, and poultry should be eaten once a day. After that initial few months of mother's breast milk or iron-enriched formula, such a diet of reasonable amounts normal food will provide the proper nutrition for almost every child......

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