What Are The Factors Affecting Nutritional Status Of Pre-School Children (1-6 years)?

Nutrition is important at every age. Your children need proper nutrients stay healthy and strong, and grow up healthy and strong. This article tells you about the factors affecting nutritional status of pre-school children.

Nutrition for children can also help establish a foundation for healthy eating habits and nutritional knowledge that your child can apply throughout life.

Factors Affecting Nutritional Status Of Preschool Children

Growth is influenced by nutrition. Frequent attacks of infectious diseases affect their growth and increase the requirements of various nutrients. Incidence of PEM and Vitamin A deficiency are high among this age group.

Repeated illnesses-especially the common illness such as diarrhea, measles, whooping cough and other respiratory infections are the underlying causes of malnutrition.

They take away appetite and so reduce food intake often for many days each month, they inhibit the absorption of the food that is eaten, they drain the body nutrients through diarrhea and vomiting, they burn up calories in fever. The result is frequently weight loss.

The mechanism by which infections worsen nutritional status are anorexia, cultural and therapeutic practices, malabsorption, catabolic losses, anabolic losses, fever, additional intestinal losses, reduced growth and weight loss.

Overall need for nutrients increases throughout the growth period but there will be reduced proportionately. Children reflect these changes in need, by fluctuations in appetite. This may cause anxiety to parents. Unless such period is prolonged by signs of undernutrition such as lethargy, fatigue and increased susceptibility to infection, should not cause concern.

Healthy status of preschool children can be evaluated with the help of growth chart. It shows the comparative growth curves of normal and undernourished Indian children upto 5 years of age. Weights of preschool children are recorded in growth charts under ICDS scheme.

Children from 1-5 years are measured mid arm circumference, once in three months, to know the nutritional status.