Nutrition consists of the foods that provide the fuel our bodies need to function. The nutritional value of the foods we consume is dependent upon what types of substances we consume. For example, someone whose diet consists primarily of fast food meals and carbonated sodas is not eating nutritiously. On the other hand, someone who eats a well-balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables is most likely eating nutritiously. The relationship between nutrition, health and learning is undeniably strong, and nutrition is one of the three major factors that impact a child’s development.
Nutrition In Early Childhood
Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet is important throughout the course of our lives, it’s extremely important in early childhood. Significant brain development occurs during this time as well. Instilling healthy eating habits and providing good nutritional choices is extremely important to ensure normal development in a number of areas, including:
Cognitive development, or the development of the brain. This includes the ability of children to develop language skills and short and long-term memory, and make connections.
Physical development, which refers to the physical growth of a child, including their height and weight.
Emotional and social development, or the ability of children to form relationships with others and mature.
Good Eating Habits
Reinforcing the importance of good nutritional choices in early childhood are more likely to make children be on track developmentally. Cognitively, children who eat nutritiously in early childhood are:
More likely to do better in school
More likely to score higher on tests
Less likely to have speech and language delays
Children who eat nutritiously are more likely to grow faster. They’re physically stronger and their immune systems are stronger and more capable of fighting off illnesses more quickly. Additionally, children who eat well-balanced meals appear to be advanced emotionally and socially.