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Watch Your Toddler Nutrition


Knowing the nutritional status of children is very important to be understood by the parents. This is because given the age of the children was a golden period which will determine the baby's development in the future. In addition, the importance of understanding the nutritional status of children under five is because remember when the malnutrition problems, it can not be restored.

With such a frightening impact, may issue a toddler's nutritional needs serious attention for each circle. From the data suggest, malnutrition every year in Indonesia always increase. It is characterized by the imbalance between the number of infants not receiving adequate nutrition to those who only get the food intake in the absence of nutritional balance.

From the available data, by looking at the height factor, it was found that 25.8 percent of children under five in Indonesia has a short body size. This condition is an indicator of a problem of prolonged malnutrition. Furthermore, if left without adequate treatment, this condition can cause a significant impact. Especially for early childhood development process itself.

One of them will be affected is the brain development of children. Where in children under five are malnourished, brain development goes very slowly. In fact, the human brain will grow at the age of five. Phase of brain growth will take place quickly since the fetus was 30 weeks until the baby is 18 months old. So at these times, the need for attention on fulfilling the toddler nutrition.

Toddler Nutrition - Reference Standards

In determining the nutritional quality of a toddler, there is a standard reference that can be used as a parameter. References toddler nutrition include weight according to age, weight according to height and height for age. From these parameters, can be specified qualifications nutritional health status of a toddler from normal, below normal or underweight and overweight.

Meanwhile, if the reference used is height, in toddlers who have poor condition will be called with stunted or short. The guidelines use of standard tables produced by WHO-NCHS or the National Center for Healt Statistics. With the tables created by the WHO NCHS, we can match the child's age in months with the size of the weight that has been standardized. If the weight of a toddler less than the size of the table can be interpreted that the toddler has a nutritional deficiency.

Parents can monitor their own progress by viewing their toddlers in the table Towards Health Card that can be found in the Integrated Service Post. Of the curve that is on the card, we can use it to estimate the nutritional status of our children.

By looking at the child's age, we can see that there is an ideal body weight on a curve in the table. If they are within the boundaries of the green, it means that we are said to be good toddler nutrition. while if they are below the red line, is an indication that the nutritional status of children we are bad.

Parameter based weight infants is a common parameter that is widely used in Indonesia. Almost all posyandu, using weight measures based on age as a guideline to determine the nutritional status of a toddler.

In addition to using weight according to age, head circumference size is often also used to determine the nutritional status of a toddler. Size of head circumference is used to get a picture of a child's brain development mengenani. However, not all parameters of head circumference posyandu use this as a way to determine the nutritional status of a toddler.

a. Toddler Nutrition - Scoring and Malnutrition

To distinguish children who are malnourished and malnutrition can be done by way of assessment or scoring. For children who are malnourished, is an age-weight them if calculated with sekor Z, has a value of less than -2. As for malnutrition is an assessment of the Z Score that has a value of less than -3. In this case, indicates that poor nutrition has a more severe condition than malnutrition.

A toddler who suffered malnutrition has a thin appearance with reddish or blond hair. The abdomen was distended with faces often seen so-called moon face due to swollen. Or also face having pengeriputan or called monkey face.

In terms of characters, children who experience malnutrition tends to be whiny and lacking response to stimuli given him. If the condition is ongoing malnutrition in the long term will affect the level of intelligence of the child.

The main causes of malnutrition issue this is for economic factors, where the parents are not able to provide intake that meets the minimum standards of nutrition in the child's diet. Thus, the child's nutritional needs to be reduced. In addition, the problem of malnutrition is also due to infections such as diarrhea. Similarly, knowledge of the factors parents especially mothers who lack sufficient knowledge about nutrition.

So when they give them food for infants and children, are not concerned with quality issues but emphasizes quantity. Moreover, the persistence of ancient views on the selection of certain foods that are considered taboo. In fact, often a taboo food actually has a high nutritional value.

If the condition is left unchecked, will have an impact on the growth and development of a child. This will happen, both mental and physical problems. From the physical side, a child with malnutrition will look shorter or thinner than his friends. From the mental side, children who have problems of malnutrition are likely to have lower intellectual ability than his friends who have adequate nutrition.

To overcome the problem of under-five malnourished like this, it needs good cooperation from all piuhak. Ranging from family, health practitioners, governments and the environment. The government should have a more active role in running the program posyandu. Where, the program is not just intended for weighing or vaccinate the baby alone.

Furthermore, posyandu should be encouraged more as a medium for educating the parents, especially the mother, the infant health problems. Thus, the level of health awareness can be developed with the insight and depth of information through the neighborhood health center.

For the mother, they should have patience and a deeper knowledge about infant nutrition. Do not prioritize quantity of food for the toddler, leaving the question of quality. So that in the future, children will only feel full, but do not benefit much from such foods besides removing hunger alone.

Natural foods such as vegetables and animal foods, it is important to include it as a dish for the toddler. Reduce the amount of food that is instant because these foods far more negative impacts than positive impacts. The main thing is to cultivate food menu four of five perfectly healthy from an early age.

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