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Why Is a Healthy Diet Important for Child Development?

Early childhood is an important period for cognitive, behavioral, and physical development. A healthy and nutritious diet is one of the most important factors for ensuring that a child reaches optimal development.

Promotes Optimal Growth

During early childhood, the body is growing at an alarming rate. This rate slows down after age 1, and may occur in spurts throughout childhood, adolescence, and puberty. A child needs adequate dietary intake to provide enough nutrients and energy for him to grow, without reducing his body's ability to stay healthy. In addition, almost half of the adult skeletal mass is built during adolescence. A healthy diet, rich in calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals, will enable optimal skeletal and physical growth.

Enhances Brain Development

Brain development can be affected by the quality and adequacy of your child's diet. Poor nutrition during fetal development and early life can lower IQ scores and lead to learning disorders, according to Dr. Reynaldo Martorell, professor of International Nutrition at Emory University. Furthermore, attentional issues, as well as behavioral and social problems, could occur. Providing adequate energy, vitamins, minerals and macro nutrients is necessary to provide enough nutrition for brain development, while still allowing for the rest of the body to grow and mature.

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