One of the health problems that is being a serious concern of the government is stunting. Stunting occurs when children experience developmental disorders due to poor nutrition, repeated infections, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.
There are several factors that cause children to experience stunting, ranging from lack of nutritional intake from breast milk and complementary foods to poor sanitation.
However, there are many ways you can do to prevent stunting and maintain the health of your child according to their age.
One of them is by providing essential nutrients needed by the body. In addition, important nutrients are also needed by children to optimize their growth and development
Because they are high in protein and vitamins, eggs are one of the richest sources of choline, this is also an important nutrient that helps children’s brain development. Not only that, serving one egg a day is known to prevent stunting.
This is also proven by an interesting study conducted by dr. Lora Iannotti, PhD., Associate Professor from Johns Hopkins University, USA. He and his team selected 160 infants aged 6-9 months who lived in rural areas of the mountains of Ecuador.
The first 50 percent of correspondents were fed one egg per day for six months. While the second group is the comparison, aka did not get eggs.
The research team made weekly home visits to the babies’ families to ensure parents adhered to the study schedule. At the same time see whether there are side effects such as allergic reactions in babies who eat eggs.
The survey results found that there was less stunting in the group of infants who received eggs. That is 47 percent lower than the non-egg group.
In serving eggs for your little one, Mama can prepare them by boiling, frying or scrambled, or make an omelet. Eggs can also be added to soups, porridge, sauces, rice and noodles, or make desserts such as puddings.
Fresh and seasonal fruits are full of vitamins and minerals necessary for protein synthesis in the body. Give your little one at least 2-3 fruits every day.
In this way, he will get a supply of multivitamins in the most natural way, besides that the child will also stay full and avoid processed foods that inhibit his growth.
Fresh fruits like strawberries and blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. They protect healthy cells from damage, boost the immune system.
Mama can prepare it by eating directly, or as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, cereals.
Did you know that Vitamin E has many roles in the body, and is important for helping children grow.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, these fat-soluble nutrients act as antioxidants, protecting cells from free radical damage. It also boosts the immune system and many cells use this vitamin to maintain its function in the body,
One good source of Vitamin E, is avocado. Apart from Vitamin E, avocados also contain high levels of folate, fat, fiber and potassium.
4. Red meat
Red meat like beef is a great source of protein and amino acids. Iron optimizes brain development and function, and supports the immune system. Not only protein and amino acids, red meat also contains iron and is good for dealing with red blood cells.
To serve red meat to children, the tips are Mama can choose pieces of meat that are tender, and chopped or cut into small pieces. Mix minced meat, chicken, or fish with mashed tofu, eggs, breadcrumbs or mashed potatoes to make meatball balls.
Beans can be an alternative solution to red meat which is quite draining. Nuts are a simple superfood, but they’re loaded with protein and fiber, plus they’re cheap and take little time to prepare.
Buy low-sodium canned beans such as black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, or peas. Simply open the can, rinse to remove extra sodium and add to any dish.
Replacing ground beef with beans can help maintain high-quality lean protein while adding nutritional fiber.
Oatmeal offers an impressive nutritional profile with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, which stunting toddlers need. What’s more, oats provide a lot of fiber, which helps keep their digestive tract healthy and regular.
Making your own oatmeal mixture can also limit the intake of added sugars that are at risk of causing children to become obese.
Mixing oats with milk instead of water will also pack more nutrients into your child’s bowl. Serve this with diced strawberries, bananas, or your little one’s favorite fruit
Calcium is one of the nutrients for optimal bone formation. For this reason, it is better to meet the calcium needs of children according to their age to avoid stunting, for example by giving yogurt.
Yogurt is a good source of bone-building protein and calcium, which are also beneficial for toddler teething. While you can continue to breastfeed until your child is 2 years old or older, yogurt containing whole fat can also be given at mealtime or as a snack.
8. Tofu hard or silk
Iron, protein, and calcium are important nutrients to optimize children growth. And you can get these nutrients easily, by giving hard or silk tofu.
Tofu is a great source of iron, calcium, and protein. A 2-ounce serving 56 grams of hard tofu provides nearly 1 mg of iron, or nearly 14 percent of the daily value for a child. The same portion also provides 12 percent of the daily calcium requirement.
Served sweet or savory, tofu is incredibly versatile. Silken tofu can also be mixed into smoothies or mashed into bananas, avocados, or cottage cheese. The taste is neutral, so all of this will provide healthy nutrition.
9. Chicken or turkey
Tender strips of ground chicken or turkey can be a great way to incorporate more protein into a toddler’s diet.
Start by giving your little one chicken/turkey porridge, or tender cuts of meat. First, boil the protein ingredients, such as chicken, then add the milk, stock, or yogurt to soften the mixture in a blender or food processor.
When the child is more comfortable with eating alone, stir-fry ground beef or cut into small pieces.
Avoid tough or stringy cuts of meat, as these may be too difficult for your child to chew or swallow. Also, avoid spicy or strong seasonings, which might irritate her tender stomach.
Packed with protein, fish can help children with stunting build healthy muscles and bones. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines also contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which support eye, brain and nerve development.
There are many ways to serve fish, such as mixing the meat with rice, tofu or potatoes to make sushi, fish balls, or fish cakes.
Those are some lists of foods to prevent stunting in toddlers. Adequate nutritional intake for toddlers by providing fruit, vegetables, and other types of healthy food. In addition to preventing stunting, the fulfillment of these nutrients is used so that children can grow up healthy with optimal development.