Healthy nutrition is essential for every human to grow and develop appropriately. Categorically, health is a word that refers to the psychological and bodily condition of a person. According to World Health Organization (WHO), it is a condition of ample mental, societal, and physical wellbeing and the lack of infections and ailments.
One of the dynamics that determine the health condition of a person is nutrition, which implies that what we eat determines how we grow and develop in all areas. Hence, the way children are fed can have a great impact on their lives, both presently and later. For instance, as a parent or caregiver, if you train a child to eat healthy diets, he will likely become used to the feeding route throughout his lifetime.
Table of Contents
What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is a term that refers to the way living things feed themselves. It is one of the main subjects in biochemistry and physiology which comprises of several organic processes that include;
The Ingestion Process
In a simple term, ingestion means consumption. It is the method living organisms apply to consume substances. Usually, human beings and animals ingest substances by using their mouth to take drinks or eat foods, which then goes into the digestive tract.
The Digestive Process
In living organisms, the digestive process helps to break enormous nourishment (that are insoluble) into minor food molecules that are soluble. The essence is to make these minor food molecules absorbable by the moist blood plasma or small intestine in the body system.
Typically, digestion comprises two major procedures which are called mechanical digestion and chemical digestion. Mechanical digestion occurs by a process called mastication in the oral cavity and another process called segmentation contractions in the small intestine. In both processes, large food substances are broken down into minor substances.
In contrast, chemical digestion is the breaking down of foods into smaller forms by the digestive enzymes so as to produce small usable molecules for the body.
The Assimilative Process
The Assimilative process majorly takes place in the digestive tract (begins from the oral cavity to the anus). It is the method by which minerals, vitamins, and other chemicals are extracted from nutrients consumed by living organisms. Assimilation breaks down the nutrients we consume physically and chemically via enzymes, acids, mastication, and churning of the stomach.
The Biosynthetic Process
In plants and animals, this is the conversion of substrates (substances through which enzymes performs) to other complex chemical produces. Specifically, it involves the change and modification of a simple chemical compound into another chemical compound. Also, chemical compounds can be merged to produce macromolecules (larger molecules).
The Catabolic Process
Catabolism comprises a metabolic route that breaks large and dense molecules into minor forms for the production of energy. It is also known as destructive metabolism because it deals with the breakdown of molecules, which makes it different from anabolism (the construction of molecules).
The Excretive Process
This is the method by which the remnants from a metabolic procedure are removed from the system of living organisms. These remnants are waste products that must live the system of living organisms through the excretory organs so as to avoid their harmful effects.
What is Nutrient?
A nutrient is an element, material or substance that helps living organisms to develop, live healthily, and breed more organisms. They are subdivided into 7 main classes which are;
They assist in catalyzing reactions of metabolism, duplication of DNA, stimuli response, to and fro movement of molecules, and giving the cell a mechanical provision. Also, proteins include the bigger biological molecules available in living organisms. Foods that contain proteins are;
- Seafood and fishes
These are nutrients that mainly store and produce energy in living organisms. It consists of three elements which are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are found in varieties of foods that include but are not limited to;
When referring to a balanced diet, minerals must not be missing. The mineral is an important nutrient that helps humans to boost their cognitive and psychological abilities. However, they are divided into two major groups which are macro minerals (main minerals) and trace minerals (microminerals).
The macro minerals include chloride, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, Sulphur, and magnesium, which are more required in living organisms. Besides, zinc, iodine, iron, copper, selenium, fluoride, manganese, molybdenum, and chromium are types of trace minerals (microminerals). Below are some of the foods that contain minerals:
Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients that living organisms need in lesser amounts to function properly. They are organic compounds that are slightly available in foods. However, Vitamin supplies in all living organisms vary. For example, while some animals can yield the vitamin C they need, humans acquire their vitamin C from their nutrition.
One of the vitamins that humans acquire from another source apart from food is Vitamin D. In this instance, each time the body system absorbs sunlight, it also manufactures the vitamin, making it the most valid source for vitamin D. The lack of vitamins in the body can lead to health problems.
Types of Vitamins
The types of vitamins can be divided into two types, which are;
These are the vitamins that the body stocks. They include; Vitamins A, D, E, and K
These types of vitamins are more essential than fat-soluble vitamins because the body cannot stock them. They include all the vitamins B (B1 to B12), and vitamin C.
Nevertheless, some foods that contain vitamin/vitamins include;
- Sweet potatoes
Fat is a mixture of chemical compounds called fatty acids. Moreover, some food that contains fats include;
- Ice cream
Foods that contain fiber help humans lessen the risk of having various diseases. It is a nutrient that the body system is incapable of digesting, which makes it move around the body undigested. Also, it has the capability of regulating the body’s sugar content.
Some foods which are rich in fiber include;
Water is a chemical substance that mainly constitutes the liquids in living organisms. Molecules in water consist of hydrogen and oxygen, making it one of the most important sources of living.
The Benefits of Healthy Nutrition in Early Childhood Development
Encouraging a child to consume healthy nutrition has various benefits that include but are not limited to;
Regulating the Brain
Just as fuel keeps a car moving, food keeps the brain functioning. Hence, taking a balanced diet and foods that are rich in good nutrients helps the brain to function properly and prevents it from damaging. The brain intensely needs food to stay awake because it never stops working. For example, when we are hungry, we sometimes feel headaches, but after eating the headache stops.
This is because, during that period of hunger, the body issues some hormones that notify the brain about our condition. Therefore, the blood vessels in the body may begin to react and eventually cause headaches. The brain sensitively regulates every function of the body depending on what it is receiving.
Research shows that processed foods are not really healthy for the brain because it has the lesser capability to eliminate them from the body. For example, foods that contain a lot of refined sugar causes inflammation and oxidative stress.
In a nutshell, bad nutrition does not only lead to a physical ailment, but it also causes mental diseases, while, good nutrition;
- upholds children’s level of attention in classrooms, home, and other social gatherings.
- develops their cognitive abilities and recollection.
- Keeps them agile
- Balances their emotions through the function of serotonin: Serotonin is a particular chemical in the brain that regulate moods. Therefore, if diets contain tryptophan, they boost the production of the hormone, serotonin.
Some of the foods that regulate the cognitive ability of a child are;
- Nuts and Seeds
Improving Physical Well-being
One of the activities that children do not take for granted is playing. Typically, playing helps children to develop socially and mentally and preserve their immune systems. To do this, however, they need energy which is provided from food.
To help children gain energy, you should;
- Train them to take foods that has lesser fats
- Feed them with more fruits and vegetables
- Avoid giving them foods that has lots of refined sugar.
Some foods that give children energy include;
It is important for parents and caregivers to encourage children to cultivate the habit of eating healthy diets for the benefit of their health in the present and in the future. Some adults have several diseases today because of what they have been eating from their childhood.
Therefore, healthy nutrition helps children to develop properly, learn smoothly, become physically fit, and have low chances of falling sick. At Perfect Angels Learning Center, our providers ensure that they are good role models to the children by encouraging and training them to take good diets and observe beneficial physical activities. Register your child by visiting our website today.