A basic understanding of how nutrition can affect the health of your children, physically, mentally and emotionally, can make a huge contribution to your success in raising them.
You may not be surprised to hear that a vast majority of children do not receive balanced and healthy meals from their parents. What may come as a surprise, however, is that many of these parents think that they are feeding their children well, simply because they do not know any better.
Raising healthy children
Children who are well nourished flourish physically and academically. By ensuring that your children follow a healthy diet you will help to prevent lifestyle-related diseases and support optimal growth.
Adequate nutrition in children:
- Grows strong bones and ensures that they develop at the correct pace;
- Builds muscles crucial to supporting physical activity;
- Provides children with the fuel they need to complete their daily tasks; and
- Prevents many lifestyle diseases, such as obesity.
It is important to note that, in addition to these physical aspects of adequate nutrition, there are also a number of emotional and psychological reasons for moms to have a firm grasp of nutritional concepts. If, for example, your child’s bones and muscles are not developing at the correct pace, they may be unable to take part in the same games and activities as their friends at school, which could lead to them being cast as outsiders.
Nutrition affects many areas of your child’s development, not just their physical wellbeing. Understanding what your children should and shouldn’t be eating is an important part of being a responsible parent.
As a mom, you are your child’s main role model. They look to you for information on how to perform and what to do in every area of life until they are at least twelve years old. This means that your nutrition habits need to be in line with what you want them to eat. It doesn’t help to insist that your child eats their vegetables or has a fruit snack if you are not willing to demonstrate the behaviour yourself.
Nutrition plays a bigger role and can be more complex than most moms realise, so a background in nutrition is a useful tool for any mom to have under her belt to enhance her child’s optimal development.
By Tamarin Benadie, Editorial Content Developer at GetSmarter
Give your child the healthiest start to life by gaining important knowledge in nutrition with the Sports Science Institute of South Africa Foundations of Nutrition short course. The course is presented part-time and entirely online by the Sports Science Institute of South Africa and online education company, GetSmarter. The course has been designed for busy moms to complete in your own time. For more information visit www.getsmarter.co.za or contact Nazley on 021 447 7565.