The purpose of organising the National Nutrition Week on an annual basis is to provide an insight among people regarding the potency of a nutritional diet and disadvantages of malnutrition
Every year, the National Nutrition Week is observed in India from September 1 to 7. This annual event is being organised by the FOOD NUTRITION BOARD, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India. In 1973, the American Dietetic Association initiated the concept of National Nutrition Week in order to generate a sense regarding the importance of healthy nourishment.
Significance of National Nutritional Week-
Hunger has been a social evil that has gone unnoticed by individuals due to lack of awareness. The purpose of organising the National Nutrition Week on an annual basis is to provide an insight among people regarding the potency of a nutritional diet and disadvantages of malnutrition.
Lack of a proper diet has affected millions of people with malnutrition, underdevelopment, and hindered growth. Various schemes are run by the government to provide food to people living in deplorable conditions of poverty. Several NGOs have come forward to help in the mission against hunger.
Importance Of Nutrients-
Nutrients form the basic components of our meals, making it necessary to contain carbohydrate, fats, minerals and vitamins, proteins, water, and fibre in an appropriate amount.
To meet Energy Requirements: An average person needs around 2,000 calories to meet their energy requirements, varying according to age, sex, and other factors like physical work.
To sustain health: A proper intake of food is required to maintain nutrition bar of your body in order to live and lead a healthy life. Nutritional intake manages body weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
To boost Immunity: Nutrition helps in providing energy, efficient growth, better metabolism and serve for protective purposes. Carbohydrates and fats provide energy, proteins are bodybuilding foods, and vitamins & minerals serve as protective foods.
To lessen the risk of sicknesses: According to doctors at AMRI and many other healthcare centres, good nutrition intake through food is the best way to prevent the risk of illness and reduce the threat of non-communicable diseases.
To increase lifespan:A healthy individual has a reduced risk of getting infected by chronic health diseases and even in case of any suffering, has a greater chance of dealing with the disease. Therefore, nutrients have a direct relation with the health and lifespan of any individual.
To delay the process of Ageing: An active lifestyle and a healthy individual happens to look more alive and cheerful. The process of ageing fastens in case of a poor diet.
The right to good nutrition is one of the key factors that determine the overall well-being of a person. Undeniably, it will support an individual to attain good health status and normal growth and development. Thus, to make people aware and understand the significance of nutrition, every year National Nutrition Week (NNW) is celebrated from September 1-7. NNW is an annual event initiated by the Food and Nutrition Board under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. Furthermore, NNW also stresses choosing wholesome foods for promoting the better health of the populace. A healthy diet plays an essential role in the upliftment of the physical and mental well-being of the person. A wholesome and varied eating habits enhance the quality of life, whereas a poor diet might increase the risk of illness and morbidity.
“Feeding smart right from start” is the theme for this year National Nutrition Week, the government organisations have designed several programs to convey proper information and create awareness through seminars, camps, and other events to offer every child and citizen of the country on how children can benefit from getting the adequate nutrients and healthier diet right from the birth. The key objective of the NNW is to promote nutritional practice awareness among the population via adopting training, education, seminars, various competitions, roadshows, and many other promotional activities to make a healthier Nation.
Importance Of Feeding Smart, Right From The Start
The key feature of feeding smart is to confer optimal nutrition to the new-born in the first two years of life – early and exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding for two years or more, along with nutritionally adequate, hygienic, and age-appropriate complementary feeding starting from 6 months are crucial to prevent stunting in infants and early childhood and halt the cycle of undernutrition.
Need For Complementary Feeding
From six months onwards the nutrients and energy demand of the infants begins to exceed than what is given by breast milk, hence complementary foods or weaning the child is essential to meet this increasing need.
Principles for appropriate complementary feeding include:
Continue frequent, on-need breastfeeding until 2 years of age or beyond.
Feed infants slowly and patiently, motivates them to eat but do not force them and always engage with the child and maintain eye contact.
Follow good hygiene and proper food handling methods.
Start with small amounts of food initially and increase gradually as the child gets older.
Slowly modify food consistency and add variety
Increase the feed as per age of the infants: 2-3 meals per day for infants 6-8 months of age and 3-4 meals per day for infants 9-23 months of age, with 1-2 additional snacks as needed.
Choose fortified complementary foods o supplements as needed and during any illness, increase fluid intake including continued breastfeeding and other soft easily digestible foods.
Healthy Eating Tips For Kids
True, healthy eating habits start at home; hence it is pivotal to give your child healthy and nutritious food for their growth and development. It is also important to provide your child with adequate information about good eating practices , which can ultimately help the child make healthy food choices.
Follow Some Of These Measures:
Try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit with easy reach on the kitchen table and offer fruit as a snack or if the child is still hungry after meals.
Ensure to stock your pantry and fridge with an array of wholesome and nutritious options, instead of storing junk foods.
Incorporate fruit and vegetables of varied colours, textures, and tastes. The more variety there is, the more chance for the child to find something interested to eat.
Make your kid involved in planning and preparing meals, if the child has helped to make the meal, this will make kid to more likely to enjoy the meal and eat it.
Make sure to have healthy meals as a family as often as possible.
Switch the TV off while eating, as this would help the child to focus on food available on the plate and make healthy food choices.