Ignorance about Malnutrition makes it a living hell for Children
An inaccurate or unbalanced overall nutrient intake is referred to as malnutrition. It either indicates that the kids are getting too many nutrients or that they are completely lacking in all of the essential and potentially life-saving nutrients. An estimated 50 million children in Pakistan are malnourished, while about 159 million children globally are underdeveloped and another 50 million are facing complete muscle and neurological wasting due to acute malnutrition, which is a heart-breaking truth; given the abundance of foods that are both highly nutritious and affordable.
For a healthy body and mind, a child needs all the essential nutrients according to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), approved and attested by the World Health Organization (WHO). Serving delicious, nutrient-rich foods to your family at every meal and snack is the key to feeding them in a healthy way. Children will naturally have less capacity for nutrient-poor options like chips and candies when they fill up on the essential foods, which provide good quality nutrition for their bodies and minds.
We all know kids can be choosy eaters. They tend to love one thing—usually something high in sugar—while rejecting the rest. Then eventually the next day, you would find their favourite food on the floor, with a toddler stomping their feet in rage and demanding an ice cream tub for dinner. It would be a big deal for parents who understand the importance of nutrition because they would be struggling to get their kids to eat right. However, for parents who do not understand the advantages of a nutritious meal, this situation can be easily resolved by giving the kid a tub of snacks to munch on. They would not think twice about the consequences of neglecting the child’s nutritional needs as they don’t know any better.
Thus, it is imperative that parents must be made aware of the consequences of their neglect and what they can do to prevent any unsightly results.
Symptoms of Malnutrition in children
These are some of the most obvious symptoms of malnutrition in children:
- Not developing or gaining weight as quickly as anticipated (faltering growth)
- Behavioural changes including being especially irritated, sluggish, or nervous
- Lower energy levels and more easily fatigued than other kids
Treatment for Malnutrition in children
These are the treatment guidelines to help a child recover from malnutrition:
- Changing one’s diet to include foods high in nutrients and energy
- Treatment for any underlying health issues that are the cause of malnutrition
- Vitamin and Mineral supplements
- Fortified foods and snacks
- If the other treatments are ineffective on their own, high-energy and protein dietary supplements may be used.
- Create awareness through courses on nutrition in schools and universities or by organizing campaigns in various rural and urban areas to reach people of all ages and help them understand the importance of a healthy nutritional diet.
We must all join together to help spread awareness and make people aware of the consequence of nutritional neglect. The lack of awareness not only affects us, but it has a direct impact on our children, for whom we must stand together and look towards a nutritional, malnutrition-free future.
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