Nutrition Health and Wellness Essay Sample

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The first year of life is one of the most critical stages in childhood development. From the moment they open their eyes, newborns undergo dramatic physical and mental changes. During the first 12 months infants should be examined regularly to determine proper development and identify any health problems. Early detection and treatment of potential problems are vital to a child’s development. BIRTH TO SIX MONTHS

Physical Development: At birth, infants cannot control their body movements. Most of their movements are reflexes. Their nervous system is not developed. During the first six months, infants can see clear objects that are about 10 inches away from their faces. By four months, most babies have some control of their muscles and nervous system. They can sit with support, hold their head up for short periods of time, and can roll on their stomach. By five months most babies can roll over. Social and Emotional Development: They begin to develop trust as their parents meet their needs such as changing their diapers when needed, feeding them when they are hungry, and holding them when they cry. When frightened infants cry and look surprised when they are afraid.

They cry to express anger, pain and hunger. It is their way of communicating. They are easily excited or upset. They need to be cradled and comforted. It seems as if they cannot tell where their bodies end and someone else’s begins. Infants smile in response to a pleasant sound or a full stomach. At about six weeks, they smile in response to someone else. By four months, they smile broadly, laugh when pleased and learn to recognize faces and voices. Intellectual Development: Infants babble, coo and gurgle. They study their hands and feet. They turn to locate the source of sounds. Infants can focus on and follow moving objects with their eyes. They explore things with their mouths; they put anything they can hold in their mouths. They cry in different ways to express hunger, anger and pain. They forget about objects they cannot see. SIX MONTHS TO TWELVE MONTHS

Physical Development: Infants still take a nap in the morning and afternoon. They start to east and sleep at regular hours. They eat three meals a day and drink from bottles at various times. They start using a cup and a spoon to feed themselves. Infants can sit alone. They crawl with their stomach touching the floor, and creep on their hands and knees. By eight months, they can pick up objects with their thumb and forefinger and let objects go (drop things). They start to throw things around, they pull up to stand, they stand holding onto furniture, and they can walk when led. By the time they are 12 months old, most babies can weigh three times their birth weight and gain about an inch per month in length. The average infant at one year may be between 26 – 30 inches long. Social and Emotional Development: Infants respond when you say their names. They begin to fear strangers. They begin to fear being left by their parents. They get angry and frustrated when their needs are not met in a reasonable amount of time. Infants will talk to themselves in front of a mirror. They begin to learn what is and not allowed. Eye contact begins to replace some of the physical contact that younger infants seek. Nutritional Challenges:

* Knowing which food groups and nutrients are needed to each developmental stage * Distinguishing nutritious foods and beverages from less healthy choices * The importance of establishing good eating habits in life * Distinguishing between fullness and hunger cues

* Fussy eaters
* Developing feeding skills and how to feed your infant
* Difficulty breast feeding/ sucking on bottle
* Irritability and excessive crying during feedings
* Poor weight gain and or growth.

Macronutrients as needed for first year of life

Fats and Fatty Acids: First six months approximately 50% of infant’s calorie intake Between 7 – 12 months the percentage drops but a range of 35 – 40% is still needed for fat intake of total calories. This amount is provided most in the milk the infant drinks. Fatty acids: at least 4 – 5 grams of the omega 6 essential fatty acids. The role of omega 3 fats in early growth and development of an infant’s brain and nervous system. Protein and calories

Protein recommended range from 9 – 14 grams per day. An infant that consumes 15 -30 ounces of milk will average 5 – 10 grams of protein. Calorie recommendation is approximately 500 – 700 calories each day for the first year of life. Diet Plan

Birth to six months: Breast milk alone if possible or accompanied by an iron fortified formula Six months to 12 months

180 to 210 ml of iron fortified formula
Lunch: trying new foods
½ bowl of infant cereal
1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetables
Mid afternoon

180 to 210 ml of iron fortified formula
1 to 2 tablespoons of pureed fruit
½ to 1 bowl of infant cereal
1 to 2 tablespoons of pureed vegetables
180 to 210 ml iron fortified formula
New foods to add to diet
Sliced cheese, dry cereal, cooked egg yolks, blended meat or fish, rice porridge and growing whole milk after 12 months.

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