Considering economic and social differences in the world, malnutrition afflicts in many ways the whole globe. Malnutrition is not synonymous of undeveloped countries but it is widespread worldwide.
In this Post, I present only a very small aspect of the “malnutrition” problem.
Infant and young malnutrition concerns not only not eating enough or eating too much but also what kinds of meal are presented in the table for breakfast, dinner and lunch and even for snack. The child can not understand which food is healthy and which is not. This is the reason why the role played by parents and the education they receive about nutrition and healthy lifestyles are fundamental.
Only the doctor is able to determine the right weight in line with age and height. If the doctor told you that your kid is overweight, try to change immediately some habits of the family. Maintaining the right weight of your child would help her/him to prevent mental and physical diseases of adulthood. Indeed, it can not be ignored that some kilograms more would not permit relaxed relationships and would compromise self-confidence. As far as health is concerned, overweight may promote diabetes of II type, compromise the good functionality of metabolism but changing habits as soon as possible is the first way of prevention. At first, parents have to be a model to follow.
1) Eliminate junky food, sweets, cakes, snack, biscuits with lot of sugar
2) Substitute with fruits, yogurt, marmalade, cornflakes
If the child eats a bit more than necessary, without exaggeration it is useful to reduce portions and bread. In case the child is still hungry at the end of the meal, a fruit can be the way out. The break in the afternoon is very important: bread and marmalade or fruit or a yogurt can substitute chocolate, sweets and biscuits
Furthermore, a healthy diet is successful if it is linked to healthy lifestyle as they are complementary. Sports, outdoor activities, walking improve health and reduce the risk of overweight and the child grow up with a positive idea about physical activities.
Reducing time spent in front of the tv and fostering outdoor activities helps the child to discover other ways to spend time happily in contact with the nature with other kids. Results? No obese or overweight children, no waste of food, children learn new hobbies and sports, become more self-confident and they learn how to create relationships with peers.
Talking about ” too less”, recently it has been emerged the following data:
It is largely demonstrated that breastfeeding improves both mother and child’s lives: prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia, breast and ovary cancer. Despite these positive outcomes, only 40 % of children under six months of age are fed with breastmilk. Breastfeeding reduces health care costs, leads to healthier families and a smarter community. Indeed, investing 4,70 euro per child <6 months to increase breastfeeding would mean saving 520.000 children (0-5 y.o) and gaining 300.000 million dollars in 10 years.
For further information, please check WHO and UNICEF webpages.
However, it is important to consider that a baby needs to be fed man times during the day and mothers can be not at home, perhaps in a supermarket or in a café with friends or at post office. Where can they breastfeed their baby? It is a sad reality that many public places do not reserve an area for breastfeeding. Therefore, it is easier for mothers to take artificial milk from home. To face this problem, pharmacies might be one of the solutions: as they are spread homogeneously in the (Western) countries, they might provide a safe place where mums can breastfeed their babies.
In the end, the aim of the post is not furnishing guidelines on how to raise your children, but the real goal is to make you understand that prevention is the best cure.
Furthermore, this Post is also an appeal to politics to increase efforts in health education and infrastructures necessary to improve breastfeeding for the good of the entire community.
Thank you for your time and for your interest in reading this Post! I encourage you to send me feedback or comments! Share your thoughts!