Is the child well?

by James Kamuye Kataru
A mother thinks about her child’s well-being. Image from SAWBO website

While walking down the great Ormond Street in London, Kenya’s former vice president, the late Michael Wamalwa Kijana said he noticed writing that said “Is everything well? is the child well?” which got him thinking of the well-being of children. He said this while delivering one of his most powerful speeches ever recorded during his short stint in office.

This statement has taken me back to thinking about how we feed our young children, taking note of how long they should be breastfed, what kinds of foods to feed them, and more specifically, what foodstuffs to mix to get a balanced diet that will ensure their steady growth and development.

In the SAWBO animated video“Child Nutrition: adding legume powder to porridge for better nutrition” we learn how to add a nutritious dried bean or cowpea powder to maize or grain porridge to feed your weaning infants and young children. When a child feeds on the right food, their growth and strength of the immune system and general well-being is promoted. Lack of proper food and nutrition leads to malnutrition, stunted growth, general body weakness, and poor development in children.

Child Nutrition Animation Video

Eating healthy food has lots of benefits for growing children which include the following

  • Helps the child grow properly
  • Helps keep the skin, teeth, and eyes healthy
  • Supports muscles
  • Boosts body immunity
  • Strengthens bones
  • Helps the digestive system to function properly
  • Lowers risk of heart diseases, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes
  • Supports healthy pregnancies and breastfeeding in mothers

In young children, good nutrition has several benefits that include the following

  • Stabilizes energy
  • Improves minds and evens out moods
  • Helps ensure a healthy weight
  • Helps prevent mental health conditions such as anxiety

It is the responsibility of every parent to provide good nutritious food for their growing children. This promotes physical and mental health hence making the child feel energized.  

Good nutrition helps ensure normal development

Nutritious food helps to ensure the normal development of growing children. Young children need calcium and vitamin D for strong healthy bones. Foods that help provide calcium include low-fat dairy products, fortified cereals, and dark leafy greens and vegetables.

Good nutrition helps ensure a healthy body weight

It is best for growing children to remain within the recommended child weight range. Unhealthy eating habits can result in eating low nutrient, high-calorie food which could lead to obesity. Every family needs to ensure that its members, especially growing children, eat a balanced diet to grow and develop well.

A strong immune system

A strong immune system keeps away sicknesses like colds and flu. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables helps to boost the immune system of growing children.

Fuelling the brain to function properly

For children to focus and perform well in school, they need a healthy diet. Foods like salmon, eggs, peanuts, and almond butter, supply the body with nutrients. Children also require whole grain for fiber too.

It is important for families to make sure their “children are well” and not malnourished which can lead to low self-esteem, poor development, and even death. SAWBO has a number of animations in its library that teach how to ensure good health for all people. I encourage my readers to download, watch and share widely with family. 

Medical Disclaimer

Note: The information and content in the video (content) should not substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any kind. Michigan State University, Purdue University, and SAWBO disclaim responsibility or liability for any loss or injury that may be incurred as a result of the use of any content included in the video. Viewers and users of the video should always consult a physician or other professional for diagnosis, treatment, and/or advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the content of this video.

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