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Watching your child grow is both fascinating and a matter of pride. The most extraordinary period of growth and development in a child’s life is from birth till 5 years of age. As children progress through various stages of life all children do not attain the milestones of development at the same time. Children develop skills in varying time frames depending on their unique differences. However, it is advisable to be watchful and monitor their overall growth i.e., physical and behavioural.


Keep a check on your child’s development

Here are a few pointers that you must keep in mind while monitoring your child’s development.

  • By the age of 2-3 years, your child should be able to walk, run, climb and jump easily, able to open doors, play with other children and get dressed without help.
  • By the age of 5 years your child will be able to use objects to build a tower, match and name colours, answer simple questions & enjoy rhymes, stories & jokes.
  • Seek advice if your 3-year old tends to fall a lot or does not show interest in playing or if your 5-year old shows stammering or hesitates to play with other children.


Here’s how poor nutrition may affect your child’s growth and development.

The implications of poor nutrition can be short and long term. Here are a few implications:

  • Lack of nutrients can compromise your child’s immunity. They can easily fall prey to infections.
  • Deficiency of zinc can result in poor growth, hair loss, diarrhoea, weak immunity, and skin problems.
  • Vitamin A deficiency may impair vision, especially at night along with a drop in immunity
  • Not only macronutrients but micronutrients and their deficiencies can also cause growth retardation.


Importance of the right nutrients for a healthy child

The overall development and timely reaching of milestones is dependent on many environmental factors of which balanced nutrition is a key factor. As the nutrient requirements for pre-schoolers has increased at this stage you need to ensure adequate supply of nutrient dense foods to their small tummies to prevent any delay in reaching these developmental milestones. Below mentioned is the food group classification based on main core nutrients that they provide to the body.



Major Nutrients Foods Other Nutrients Provided
Carbohydrates and fats Whole grain cereals, millets Protein, fibre, minerals, calcium, iron & B-complex vitamins
  Vegetable oils, ghee, butter Fat soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids
  Nuts and oilseeds Proteins, vitamins, minerals
  Sugars Nil


Major Nutrients Foods Other Nutrients Provided
Proteins Whole grain cereals, millets Protein, fibre, minerals, calcium, iron & B-complex vitamins
  Milk and Milk products Calcium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12
  Meat, fish, poultry B-complex vitamins, iron, iodine, fat


Major Nutrients Foods Other Nutrients Provided
Vitamins and Minerals Green leafy vegetables Antioxidants, fibre and other carotenoids
  Other vegetables and fruits Fibre, sugar and antioxidants
  Eggs, milk, milk products & flesh foods Protein and fat