Tuesday, November 13

Nutrition - toddler

Many parents (I hope) know that good nutrition is important to babies. But frequently when our children become toddlers, something gets lost. A recent study showed that 2% of children under 2 eat French fries daily and 24% eat hotdogs daily (Fox, Pac, Devaney, & Jankowski, 2004). As well, most preschoolers consume soft drinks regularly. I find those results shocking. Birth to 2yrs is the time of maximum brain growth. We are supposedly a culture that prides itself on intelligence and fast paced thinking but we are crippling our children’s ability to get there. Multiple studies have shown that children who receive the right nutrition from birth to 7 scored higher in quantitative thought and expression, reading, and vocabulary 10 years later (Pollit & Gorman,1994; Pollit, Watkins & Husaini 1997) .

Our society is crippling itself with poor nutrition. We have programs to help the nutrition of our school-aged children, as lame as it is. We have programs to help the nutrition of infants and provide formula to moms who need it but cannot afford it. There is no help or education for parents when the children are toddlers or preschool. Making low-cost or free nutritional supplements and parent education available for these children has become my new political agenda. I am not by nature a political person but this issue has motivated me. I am in the process of learning how to affect change in this area.

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