Photo by Lucy Aulich, World Vision
Nutrition early on
Some health issues such as diabetes (the theme of World Health Day 2016) can be controlled and managed through increased access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment. But if a child has inadequate nutrition in the critical window of opportunity – the first 1,000 days of life – their physical and mental development can be set back for a lifetime. For pregnant mums and newborn children, adequate nutrition is critical to the child’s ability to meet his or her potential later in life.
An active lifestyle by participating in sport
Along with good nutrition as a young child, a healthy and active lifestyle throughout adolescence is key for good health. Participation in sport encourages youth to stay active and adopt healthy habits. Since many lifestyle habits are formed in adolescence, establishing healthy choices now is key. Regular exercise can effectively prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, ensures healthy body weight and muscle strength, and combats undernutrition and over-nutrition.
Consuming not only enough food, but the right foods that are nutrient rich is important to children’s health. Hunger from not having enough to eat, and malnutrition from not eating the right foods holds children back from reaching their full potential. 100 million children in Asia are stunted and one-quarter of Asia’s 350 million children under the age of five are underweight because they do not consume the proper nutrients.
Continued nutrition education
Mothers in Asia are invested in their children’s health and the health of their family, too. Nutrition education such as health workshops, nutrition clubs and cooking demonstrations are teaching mothers how to prepare nutrient-rich meals for their family. The result is that children are getting more of right foods giving them more energy, strength, promoting good physical and mental development and helping them to achieve good health and nutrition!