he aim of good child nutrition is to properly prepare them for later in life, which isn’t so different from the rest of parenthood if we’re honest. We just want them to do well in their lives, and a great way to give them a foundation to work from is to start them off with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Another very happy side-effect of a healthy childhood is boosted immunity throughout their life, as a balanced diet keeps the immune system running at full power for years to come.
The science behind it all
The science to support good child nutrition is readily available. Good nutrition in the past few decades is the reason why we have seen average heights and life expectancies shoot up as developing countries secure stable and nutritious food supplies for their citizens. There really isn’t an end to just how important good nutrition can be for a child.
The importance of balance in a child’s diet also can’t be understated. There isn’t much point in eating all the required calories, if it’s just carbohydrates for example. There has to be a balance between the carbs, the proteins, the fats, and all the rest.
Good nutrition is key to making sure your little one remains active and alert throughout their childhood. While sometimes you might not appreciate a hyperactive child bouncing around your home, you can be safe in the knowledge that their energy is a sign they’re receiving the right nutrients and that active personality should stay with them for years and years to come.
Balanced nutrition is also important in youth as it has an impact on the state of the immune system into adulthood. In the early stages, healthy eating can prevent many of the illnesses that affect babies and toddlers like diarrhoea, bacterial meningitis and infections. This continues into the later stages as many of the immune system’s actions and reactions to viruses and bacteria depend on having eaten enough of the right proteins to keep them fuelled.
Probiotics (which have good bacteria in them) and prebiotics (which feed good bacteria) also have an effect on immunity, particularly when it comes to stomach bugs. They both keep the microscopic ecosystem inside our guts going which guards against anything untoward happening in that part of the body. This includes any stomach bug, diarrhoea, and general tummy aches.
Nutrition in the age of Covid
The role that nutrition can play in defending the body against Covid-19 is, like many things about the virus, not fully known. However, the virus does have its similarities with more researched illnesses, which stronger immune systems have been known to fight better against. This includes the influence of pro and prebiotics due to the fact that one of the effects of Covid-19 is gut dysbiosis (when the internal system is knocked off balance). A good biological balance can also be of great support in the lungs, the main area ravaged by the coronavirus, as the body fights back against inflammation and damage.
These are dangerous and uncertain times, but we will get through them, and we want nothing more than the next generations to grow up strong and healthy. It’s all about handling the things that are under your control – and keeping a well-balanced nutritious diet is a perfect start!
Stay safe everyone.