For every parent proper growth and development of their child is of paramount importance, and they try to ensure that it transpires steadily without much hindrance. However, there are some factors that can be modulated, and some can’t, to provide optimal condition suitable to reach the growth milestones.
Growth is a complex biological process that results from multiple factors, including:1
- Physical activity
- Psychosocial influences
Of course, the first three of these can’t be controlled, since they’re part of a person’s biology. However, the others such as nutrition, physical activity and psychosocial influences can all be attuned to provide proper growth and developmental support to children as they grow.1
The growth process does not happen all at once.1 A child’s growth and development can be divided into four main periods:2
- Preschool years
- Middle childhood years
However, at all stages, a child’s growth is strongly tied with their level of nutrition.1
How important is nutrition?
Good nutrition in infancy and early childhood is essential for supporting a child’s growth and development. Food preferences and dietary patterns established during early childhood can lay the foundation for healthy eating habits later in life.3 What’s more, emerging evidence also suggests that proper nutrition during early childhood can lead to optimal long-term health and disease prevention.3
On the other hand, poor nutrition can cause problems with a child's intellectual development. A child with a poor diet may often be tired and unable to learn as effectively. Poor nutrition can also make a child more susceptible to illness.2
For older children, breakfast is very important. Children may feel tired and unmotivated if they do not eat a good breakfast. In fact, research has shown that there is a strong relationship between a child eating a healthy, hearty breakfast and improved learning.2
If you have concerns about your child's growth and development, speak to your doctor.