Childhood Hunger Awareness Month -
By Bre Taylor
What are the risks for children who suffer from nutritional deficiencies caused by food deprivation or limited access to quality foods during their growing years?
Children who suffer from nutritional deficiencies are at risk for having developmental problems, both mental and physical, with consequences for the rest of their lives.
· Ex. Poor (stunted) growth of the brain and vital organs, mental retardation, muscle weakness, compromised immune system, fragile bone structure (rickets, osteoporosis), decaying teeth, and many chronic conditions, like asthma and a vast array of illnesses that develop later in life, like diabetes, heart disease and failure of key organs to function properly.
· Behavioral dysfunctions such as depression or addictions
How can someone with limited resources incorporate nutritional foods into their child’s diet and be sure their child is not malnourished?
· School Nutrition Programs
· Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs
· Non-Profit Food Assistance Organizations & Resources
· Food Budgeting & Shopping Resources
o Includes helpful tips such as eating out less and making meals at home, buying seasonal produce, and how to limit waste.
For more information, the Nutrition Assistance Resource Guide can be found at usda.gov
What actions can be taken if your child is currently suffering from malnutrition?
Talking to your doctor or a nutritionist is a great way to gain insights on how to improve your child’s overall nutritional health.
What are some of the best ways parents can talk to their children about the importance of a healthy diet?
· Understand that diet can be a sensitive topic for many children.
· Lead by example and be a good role model.
· Eat together as a family.
· Make it clear that eating healthy can be fun and delicious.