Congratulations! Your 1-year-old child has matured and developed. Thus, a toddler’s physical, emotional, and linguistic development are all clear signs of development and growth1. And a good bedrock for this is nutrition for children.
As for most mothers, their child’s growth and development is a source of excitement and joy. Moreover, these first steps are a sign of their child’s continuous growth and maturity, which is attributed to an adequate intake of nutrition. Anyway, as mothers, you should enjoy and keep these precious moments of progress in your hearts.
First of all, in order to measure their toddlers’ growth, mothers should make a checklist on each facet of a 1-year-old’s development, which includes nutrition for children 2. Can your child already do these things? What hasn’t he or she learned yet?
Basics of Development and Nutrition for Children: Developmental Checklist
|Aspects of a 1 year old's development|
|Intellectual Development||Can your child do it?||How can mothers encourage growth?|
|Your child is able to sort objects such as toys by their color and shape3.||During play time, encourage your child to play with toys by sorting and identifying them by their color and/or shape4. See if your children can accomplish the task on their own. If they are still unable, you can help by serving as an example.|
|Your child can “play pretend” or mimic certain daily activities like using a spatula during play time to imitate the action of eating food3.||Be engaged when your child is “playing pretend.” Ask questions such as who are you pretending to be, what are you doing, what object are you using5.In addition, try encouraging your child to solve basic problems3. For example, put their toy in a place that they cannot reach easily and ask them to pick it up or clean it up. You can observe how the child attempts to solve the problem presented.|
|Your child can learn through play, observation and repetition of various tasks3. For example they can learn how to pour water into a cup by constant observation and repetition.||During this time, children learn through the repetition of trial and error.3 As mothers, you should allow your child space to play and make mistakes. Don’t get annoyed when you see your child making a mess when they try to mimic actions like pouring water for example.s|
|Your child has a better memory. For example, he or she can recall things and events he or she saw in a book they read3.||Invite children to talk about the details of things near them, then ask to recall the children about what they have said, such as pictures in books, names of animals that they like. Be engaged when you talk to your children. Ask them to recall details from books that were read to them or events they experienced. For example, ask about the names of the places or animals they liked.|
|Your child is able to stack or put boxes inside bigger boxes (object and spatial recognition)3.||Find boxes of various sizes. Observe if your child can sort which is bigger and place the smaller ones inside. If your child can’t do it yet, try doing it for him or her so they can learn by imitation.|
|Your child can stand up by himself or herself6.||If your child still can’t stand up, you can encourage him or her when they are sitting. If they still can’t stand up by themselves, you can act as a support. You can gradually reduce your support until they can stand up on their own.|
|Your child can pull themselves up into standing position6.||Encourage them through song, dance and play to stand up straight. Mothers can also serve as an example by stretching and standing straight themselves.|
|Your child can walk more than 1-2 steps6.||Encourage your child to walk towards you or other things. Make sure you are nearby and ready to support in case they stumble and fall.|
|Your child can do activities like opening the lid (fine motor skills)6.||You can encourage your child through play. Try to see if your child can perform activities that require good finger control such as opening the lid, or drawing with crayons. If your child still can’t accomplish these tasks, you can serve as an example that your child can imitate.|
|Your child may help you when dressing them by extending an arm or leg6.||You can improvise a game that requires them to take off their socks. This can help them get used to the activity. It’s important to be patient as your child might not immediately do what you ask.|
|Communication and Language Development|
|Your child can mouth off words such as “mama,” or “dada”6.||Constantly talk with your children. Use simple words while speaking slowly and clearly so they can pick up on speech better. You can also use storybooks and pictures to increase your child’s vocabulary.|
|Is able to understand basic sentences. For example, your child will understand and follow when you say something like “look at those birds in the trees”3.||Encourage your children to observe their surroundings every day3. Talk to them and try to ask them about the details that they found3. For example you can ask them what color the flowers were or how many birds did they see outside.|
|Your child is able to produce a variety of sounds such from high and low pitches6.||Your child’s ability to produce a variety of sounds shows that they understand the importance of sound in communication. You can encourage your child by talking to your child normally. Everyday speech is normally comprised of a variety of tones.|
|Your child can communicate ‘no’ by shaking their head6.||Teach your child to say “no,” when they dislike something instead of crying or screaming.|
|Your child is capable of communicating his or her needs through pointing or making noise6.||When your child needs something, ask them first what it is they want. This can encourage them to be specific and use words to communicate3. You can also help develop your child’s vocabulary by telling them the name of the object they want or need.|
|Emotional and Social Development|
|Your child has a greater sense of humor and is laughing more7.||Keep your child in a good mood through play. Make sure your child is having fun when they are doing these activities.|
|Your child has grown an attachment to his or her things such as pillows, or blankets8.||It is normal for your child to grow attached to things that they like. It is a way for your child to create emotional stability. As mothers, avoid prohibiting or taking away these things. Doing so can lead to a negative impact on your child’s emotional development.|
|At this age, children will generally dislike being taken away from their mothers8.||Children will normally cry and dislike being taken away from their mothers. You should allow them to bond with other family members so it is easier for them to adjust to being without you.|
|Your child is capable of waiting9.||Being patient and waiting is a sign of emotional development. As mothers, you should teach your child to wait. You can encourage this by not immediately responding to him or her. You can slowly introduce this concept in your daily activities.|
After going through this list and seeing your child accomplish all of these tasks, he or she is considered to have developed well. However, your child being unable to perform 1 or 2 tasks does not necessarily mean that they have a problem in that area of development. Nonetheless, children will develop at their own pace6. For instance, when your child is facing difficulties, you will need to encourage and support them as parents. As such, toddlers, especially in their first year, have immense potential. Ultimately, you must serve as an example and guide so that they can learn and grow from new experiences and lessons.
Nutrition for Children Above One Year Old: Healthy Growth and Development
In their first year, toddlers will continuously develop in numerous ways. As such, it is important that they receive essential nutrients to ensure maximum growth. Furthermore, mothers should pay attention to the daily nutrients that their child takes from their meals. Next, they need to ensure, with regards to nutrition for children, that nutrients are sufficient for their child’s developmental needs. Hence, along with the 5 nutrient groups, there are also other vital nutrients that can support and stimulate your child’s growth. Therefore, mothers must ensure that their growing child also receives these nutrients.
MFGM stands for milk fat globule membrane and is a key component of nutrition for children above the age of one. For instance, it contains various nutrients that can be found in milk like complex fats and proteins. In fact, these substances are beneficial and stimulate the development of many areas including the brain.
Better intelligence development
First, studies have shown that MFGM helps in strengthening brain cell connections while working hand-in-hand with DHA. As a matter of fact, intelligence scores from children who took these supplements were higher in comparison to those who did not10 - which is why both MFGM and DHA are crucial nutrition for children.
Second, pandemics can occur at any moment nowadays. As such, it is a constant concern for mothers that their child might be infected by disease. In regards to this, research has found that these nutritional components can help reduce episodes of fever in children11.
Improved language and communication development
On the other hand, children who took the milk fat globule membrane supplementation had better language and communication skills compared to those who did not take the supplement12.
Better physical development
Likewise, research has found that children with MFGM supplementation had greater physical development compared to those who did not12.
DHA is an essential fatty acid that is fundamental in the structure of the brain and retinal cells13. Therefore, this makes DHA necessary in nutrition for children above the age of one when it comes to brain and eye development. However, our bodies are incapable of producing DHA by themselves. As such, our only source would be from food13. Seafood and certain dairy products are good sources for DHA.
Choline is vital in another vital component of nutrition for children above one year old, and plays an important role in the creation of neurotransmitters14. In fact, these are important for the communication between cells. Furthermore, it is the main component of various cells including the ones in our brains. Therefore, choline is important in improving one’s memory and learning15.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrition for children that helps in the development of the nervous system and brain16. Therefore, this vitamin is important in the development of ideas and thoughts that children have. As such, it is vital to receive an adequate amount of vitamin B12 for one year old child nutrition16.
Prebiotics (fructooligosaccharides or FOS)
Prebiotics, such as fructooligosaccharides or FOS is a nutrition for children above the age of one year old that has a positive effect on the gut microbiota, improving how some other nutrients are absorbed17. In addition, they contain anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.
Yeast Beta Glucan
Yeast beta glucan is a type of nutrition for children that helps to boost physical endurance in children with respiratory problems and helps improve their mucosal immunity18.
In conclusion, children develop at a rapid pace during their first year. Their bodies are always hungry and on the lookout for good nutrition - making it important to pay attention to nutrition for children. MFGM and DHA are important for brain development, while MFGM, DHA, Prebiotics (FOS) and Yeast Beta Glucan help develop a child's immunity. Immunity is essential for growing children as this enables better brain development during their most formative years19.
Nutrition for children above one year old is essential to spur their growth and ensure that their needs are met. Therefore, as mothers, it’s important to provide your children with proper nutrition to ensure greater qualitative development in all areas. Lastly, nothing brings more joy to mothers than seeing their child grow and develop to their full potential.
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