Rohit, a cute and shy 13 year old had no signs of cheer returning home. Internally, he was disheartened for the race he lost in his school. He was overweight and was body-shamed by a bunch of brats who made fun of his bulging belly. Heart-broken Rohit used to lay on his bed watching TV and had chips, noodles and soft drinks. Because of this stress, he made poor choices in food. He clinged to junk food that made him lethargic and reduced his immunity power. This further made him lose his focus in studies. Slowly, such insults made him lose his focus from studies too. His rank dropped from 2nd position to 15th. His parents felt helpless and worried as Rohit was behaving increasingly strange. They wondered if they could do anything to help him, only had they known that all they needed was a stress management tool.
Schooling years, being an important phase of life, absolutely require proper nutrition and calm mind. These students go through immense stress because of peer pressure, examinations, appearances, getting noticed and even lack of attention from their loved ones. Many a times, these innocent beings start over-eating or skip meals because of stress. Children afflicted by sustained poor nutrition are at a greater risk of obesity, mental and emotional health problems, and a failure to thrive academically. Let me point out some:
Obesity–This is especially true of children who regularly consume fast food. According to the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, obesity in children can lead to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and a variety of other health problems. Obesity can also result in a negative self-image, eating disorders, a decreased quality of life and other long-term psychosocial problems that are extremely difficult to reverse.
Mental and Emotional Health– A study in the “Indian Journal of Psychiatry” in 2008 noted a link between iron deficiency and hyperactivity disorders in children. Iodine deficiency has also been linked to multiple developmental impairments. Certain nutritional habits that children may be prone to, such as skipping meals or overindulging in sugary foods, have also been linked to depression. Additionally, these mental and emotional health problems in children are often reinforced by obesity and low self-esteem, which may be the result of poor nutrition.
Education– When a child does not get the required amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for health, it could lead to lethargy, a lack of energy and a general failure to thrive. The World Bank notes an association between improper childhood nutrition and lower IQ levels as well.
Illness–Poor nutrition and obesity have the potential to result in many long-term, chronic illnesses.
It is a proven fact that children these days go through much more stress than adults do. This means stress management for children is an important topic for parents to understand. The first step to combat Stress is by having good nutrition. According to MayoClinic.com, ingredients in the food that your child eats, fuel many of the factors that affect their behavior. Kids who eat healthy are able to cope with stress and regulate their emotions better, says the American Psychological Association. We all know, how vital fruits, green vegetables, milk, eggs and almonds among others are for kids. The problem today is, 90% of kids find nutritious food very boring to eat. As a parent, you should ensure that your kid is taking the right amount of nutrition. A parent should be use his creative skills during food presentation. Involving him during food planning is not a bad idea either. Stress disrupts not only your child’s overall performance but makes them prone to heart disease as well.