Recognize Your Children’s Development Every Year
Oleh: Morinaga Platinum
In the process of development there is a critical period. Critical period is children’s first thousand days of life since fetus until they turn 2 years old. Why is the first thousand days so important? Because at this period, the growth of various organ systems occurs rapidly, including brain and gastrointestinal tract. This is the golden period to shape a quality future. If children develop not optimally during this period, it can lower their quality in the future.
Children’s Brain Development
After children are born, their brain is developing rapidly. Imagine it Moms, the brain mass at birth is only about 300 grams and at the time they turn 2 years old, the mass increase to 1,000 grams. This means that at the age of 2 years old, children’s brain volume reaches 80 percent of adult’s brain volume. At the age of 3, brain develops to 90 percent. Then after the age of 3, the development slows down and the brain will reach the adult’s size by the age 9-14 years old.
Brain development occurs through the increase of connections and branches of brain cells as well as the maturation of nerve cells, so it can function properly. Here is the guide to the stage of brain development:
- 0-2 years: emotional development
- 0-4 years: logic and mathematical development
- 0-10 years: linguistic development
Well, according to the above stage, Moms could do the right stimulation to optimize the children’s development.
Children’s Gastrointestinal Tract Development
Similar to the brain, the growth and development of gastrointestinal tract are also happening rapidly during children’s early life. Below is a guide to children’s gastrointestinal tract development by the age group:
- 0-3 months: the digestive enzyme isn’t fully formed yet but there is lactase enzyme so babies can consume the breast milk or formula that contains lactose. Other enzymes that work to digest proteins and fats are actually produced but aren’t perfect yet, so babies can only digest the fats and proteins contained in breast milk or formula.
- 4-6 months: the enzymes to digest starch substances are starting to form but still very little. Therefore, babies should only consume breast milk or formula.
- 6 months: the formation of digestive enzyme is sufficient, babies can be fed some complementary foods. But feed them gradually, in both of type and amount.
- 9 months: the chewing strength and coordination develop gradually. Moms could provide some complimentary foods that have rougher texture than before. Of course, this should be adjusted to the children’s eating capability.
- 12 months: the chewing strength and coordination as well as gastrointestinal tract maturity are good enough. Children may have regular home cooked meal with seasoning adjustment.
Things to be Noticed
Make sure that you take note on the following things for babies’ brain and gastrointestinal tract develop optimally: nutrition, stimulation, hygiene, vaccination, and basic health needs.
In terms of nutrition, children’s need of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) should be fulfilled according to their age and gastrointestinal tract development. In addition to the macro and micro nutrients, some substances such as omega-3, omega-6, AA, DHA, iron, and choline can support children’s brain development. Meanwhile, probiotics and prebiotics are also important components to support the growth and development of a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
Optimize children’s brain and gastrointestinal tract development from the early age for a quality future of your children.