Nutritionhas been an important issue to the society. Today, many hospitals arereceiving a high number of patients who their health problems arecorrelated to diet. Despite exercise playing a role in maintaining aproper health, to overlook nutrition would be disastrous. Majorissues that have marred our society due to improper diet are rickets,osteoporosis, obesity, and overweight among other factors. It isimportant to know that people who either become obese or overweightas a result of poor nutrition due to high intake of processed foodsusually have high contents of fats, sugar and sodium elements(Barker,Francois, & New York Law School, 2012).
Asa result, they become susceptible to illness like cancer,hypertension, and diabetes mellitus among others. The presence offood deserts has also contributed the issue of improper diet. In oursociety today, it is easy to access fast foods than fresh products insome residential areas (Barkeret al., 2012).As a result, we have people who eat without regard to their healtheventually, these people become parents and teach their children pooreating patterns. Thus, it has become necessary for healthorganizations to intervene by recommending a various diet forchildren as it is believed if we could implement proper eatingpatterns at that age, there is a high probability that we will have aconscious and healthy society.
Thus,as pediatricians, we have a responsibility to equip ourselves withrelevant literature, recommend and advise parents on various issuesthat are important to children’s health. These problems range fromthe introduction of solid foods, overeating, vital minerals, tonutritional screening. Feeding infants can be affected by a range ofissues such as culture, technology, and education (Aldous, 1999). Forinstance, according to Africans, a big baby (fat) is considered to bea healthy one. This cultural importance has been passed fromgeneration to generation. As a result, African Americans tend toencourage early eating habits in children(Darwin, 2008).
Educationalso influences eating patterns people like pediatric mothers willprobably adopt healthy patterns. For instance, as they feed theirbabies, they will adopt the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)policies and procedure. People with this knowledge will feed theirbabies food with sufficient calories and nutrients throughoutinfancy. Moreover, they will avoid feeding children foods with lowfats such as milk until they are two years old. The AAP recommendsthat mothers should not introduce solid foods to children until theyare at the age of 4 to 6 months. Technology has led to theintroduction of supplements and formulas.
Thehabit of spooning very young babies who cannot differentiate if theyare hungry or not can be correlated to overheating habits hencemaking children susceptible to obesity (Aldous, 1999). When you wantto introduce food in children, it is recommended to feed puree of 4tablespoons in a day. Minerals are also essential in children inensuring that they are healthy thus, parents should ensure thatchildren’s diets have proper contents of phosphorus, vitamin K,vitamin D, fluoride, calcium and iron (Aldous, 1999). Some of theseminerals can be greatly absorbed from breast milk such as calcium andphosphorous.
Previously,there have been formula supplements which were given to babies butwere not healthy as some had the high contents of phosphorus comparedto calcium (Aldous, 1999). This, in turn, led to decreased serumcalcium concentration. An enough quantity of cow’s milk for babiesis sufficient for the absorption of calcium, magnesium and 70% ofphosphorous, but it should be coupled with vegetable diets tosupplement the intake of iron(Storey & Anderson, 2016).Formulas can be used to supplement babies with low contents ofcalcium and phosphorus mineral.
Forproper metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, vitamin D is needed asit increases the absorption rate in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus,it is highly recommended that you highly breastfeed babies and exposethem to sunlight in addition to giving them vitamin D supplements.Another mineral that is essential for infants is iron. Currently,apart from children being given a supplement, they are granted tomothers during pregnancy in the form of tablets(Cox, 2016).Thus, it is important for a mother who does not take thesesupplements to use formulas with iron. Due to the side effects ofmilk, it is appropriate to avoid it.
Currently,people from various races with increased risk for iron deficiency arealways screened. Furthermore, due to minute quantities of vitamin Kin breast milk, prophylaxis is highly recommended and supplements. Children who use formulas are not at risk as they receive properrequirements. Finally, fluoride is essential for the formation andpreservation of teeth. Adequate amounts should be given to childrenbetween the ages of 3 to 6 years to avoid tooth decay and coloring ofteeth.
Toensure that children are getting proper nutrition a pediatric shouldscreen for vulnerability. Then, determine the diet intake of thechildren in comparison to regular food groups. After that, considerthe BMI of an individual, physical examination and biochemical tests(Gibson, 2005).
Aldous, M. B.(1999). Nutritional issues for infants and toddlers. PediatricAnnals, 28(2),101-105. doi:10.3928/0090-4481-19990201-06
Barker, C.,Francois, A., & New York Law School. (2012). Unsharedbounty: How structural racism contributes to the creation andpersistence of food deserts. Retrieved fromhttp://www.racialjusticeproject.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2012/06/NYLS-Food-Deserts-Report.pdf
Cox,A. J. (2016). The effects of iron deficiency anemia and ironsupplementation in pregnancy.
Darwin, A.(2008). Childhood obesity: Is it abuse? Children`sVoice, 24-27. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ellennotbohm.com/JulyAug08_Voice_ChildhoodObesity.pdf
Gibson,R. S. (2005). Principlesof nutritional assessment.Oxford university press, USA
Lippman,H. E., Desjeux, J. F., Ding, Z. Y., Tontisirin, K., Uauy, R., Pedro,R. A., & Van Dael, P. (2016). Nutrient recommendations forgrowing-up milk: a report of an expert panel.Criticalreviews in food science and nutrition, 56(1),141-145.
Ross, A. C.,Taylor, C. L., Yaktine, A. L., & DelValle, H. B. (2011). Dridietary reference intakes calcium vitamin D.Washighton, DC: The National Academies Press.
Storey,M. L., & Anderson, P. A. (2016). nutrient intakes and vegetableand white potato consumption by children aged 1 to 3 years. Advancesin Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 7(1),241S-246S. doi: 10.3945/an.115.008656