Negative Impacts of the Lack of Nutrition in the Growth and Development of Your Little One

Oleh: Morinaga Platinum

Malnutrition in the first 1000 days of life, from conception in the womb to 2-year-old, can make you’re your Little One to have health problems, both for short or long term. In Indonesia alone, cases of malnutrition recorded are still many. National Basic Health Research Data 2013 shows that the prevalence of malnutrition in under-fives in Indonesia is 19.6 percent.

The World Health Organization, WHO, recommends exclusive breastfeeding for newborns until he/she is 6 months old. According to the article published by the official website of the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI), breast milk can prevent malnutrition because it contains proper nutrients needed by the Little One.

At the age of 6 months old, the Little One can still be breastfed until the age of 2 years old with combination of complementary foods given in quantities and textures adjusted according to the age and ability of the Little One. Over the age of 2 years old, the Little One still has to get a high nutritious intake during the process of growing up because the process of growth and development can go optimal if the nutritional and stimulation needs are well met.

What will happen if the Little One does not get the nutritional intake he/she needs? The Little One will be at risk of malnutrition. Symptoms of malnutrition include weight and height not in accordance with the age of the Little One and suffering from diseases caused by certain nutritional deficiencies.

Why malnutrition can occur? The are several factors which can contribute, including poverty, politics, climate change, disease, water cleanliness, poor sanitation and others. So, what are the adverse effects of malnutrition? Check out the explanation below:

A delay in motoric ability

The Little One who suffers from malnutrition, is categorized as not getting enough food intake as a source of energy. This means he/she is at risk of delay in the development of motor skills.

A decrease in immunity

Lack of nutrition certainly affects the decrease of immune which causes the Little One to be vulnerable to various diseases. If this happens, the growth and development of the Little One can be hampered. Diseases that arise, if not resolved thoroughly, can cause fatal consequences.

Inhibition of physical growth

The direct impact of malnutrition that is clearly visible is the weight and height of the Little One which is not in accordance with his/her age. Generally, this is due to the inadequate fulfillment of the needs of the Little One or the imperfect absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Impaired brain growth

In its development, the brain requires essential nutrients such as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, iodine, and iron. If the Little One is malnourished then he/she does not get the required minerals. This will affect the development of brain function.

Surely the expectation of Mommy is for the Little One to have an optimal growth and development. Make sure that Mommy gives the Little One the nutritional intake he/she needs, consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Choose the foods rich in essential nutrients for his/her growth and development such as choline, DHA, probiotics and prebiotics, calcium and vitamin D. Creativity in providing variety of foods can also increase your Little One’s appetite. If necessary, Mommy can make a suggested meal schedule for toddlers, which are three large meals interspersed with two snack sessions.

By ensuring the nutritional intake of the Little One is fulfilled as needed, Mommy has provided 100 percent support in the growth and development process to be able to go optimally.

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