Malnutrition In Children Under 5 Years

Malnutrition is still prevalent in developing countries such as Indonesia. For children under 5 years of age, it will greatly affect their physical growth and development. Therefore, it is necessary to have an integral effort to overcome malnutrition.

Children who are poorly geared for growth and developmental nutrition are inhibited than children who have sufficient nutritional intake. For example, growth includes height, weight Children under 5 years low, brain development, the level of intelligence and psychic are also low and susceptible to infection.

Causes of the malnutrition

Many things that cause the malnutrition in Children under 5 years. These factors are as follows:

  • Economic factors. Parents Children under 5 years old are unable to provide good nutrition due to cost issues.
  • Educational factors. Limited knowledge of good nutritional intake can lead to errors in child feeding. Parents may provide food intake to children in large quantities but without regard to the nutritional content in the food.
  • Environmental factors. If a family lives in an environment that is less attention to nutrition intake, it does not close the possibility of families participating in the habits surrounding environment.
  • According to Dwijayanti (2011: 7), less nutrition can also be caused by (1) Inability to metabolize nutrients. (2) Inability to get the appropriate nutrients from food. (3) Acceleration of excretion of nutrients from the body.
  • Pain or disease that increases the body’s need for nutrients.

Balance Menu For Children under 5 years

            A balanced nutritional intake for children under 5 years is very necessary. Not good if the nutritional intake is less or excessive, it is necessary to balance it tailored to the needs.

Balanced Menu for Children under 5 years according to  Asfuah (2010: 136) namely:

  • Sugar and Salt. Consumption of salt for Children under 5 years no more than 1/6 of the maximum number of adults a day or less than 1 gram. Pay attention to food Children under 5 years old mothers because the adult food is not necessarily suitable for him. Sometimes the mother’s food is too much salt or sugar, or even contain preservatives or artificial coloring.
  • Eating Portion. The child’s meal portion is also different from that of an adult. They need nutritious food sources of complete nutrients in smaller amounts but often.
  • Energy and Nutrition Requirement. Food ingredients of energy sources such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins, minerals and fiber must be consumed by children every day. Make arrangements for all of these nutritional sources in the daily menu.
  • Growing Milk. Milk as one source of calcium is also important to consume Children under 5 years. At least Children under 5 years need 350 ml / 12 ounces per day. Milk growth is a complete milk nutrition that is able to meet the nutritional needs of children aged 12 months and over.

Nutrition Management Effort

Nutrition Management Effort for Children under 5 years is very important. Because :

1. The consequences of eating difficulties will obviously affect the nutritional state of a child.

2. So needed an effort to overcome this difficulty in eating. It may take practice, medication, psychological approaches, and other ways.

3. The characteristics of eating patterns Children under 5 years is difficult to eat, the appetite often changes, get bored quickly to eat while sitting need to play games.

            Nutrition management can be done in various ways, namely:

  • Develop good eating habits. Children are introduced early with diverse and well-nourished foods and regular diet.
  • Create a fun eating atmosphere.
  • Avoid foods that are too oily, junk food, preservatives.
  • Tell about good eating.


            From the above discussion, it can be concluded as follows:

  • Children under 5 years need a balanced nutrition intake because age Children under 5 years is a nutritious age. 
  • Good nutrition will affect both the growth and development of children under 5 years such as height and weight.
  • Malnutrition (less nutrient intake) can reduce the growth and development of Children under 5 years.
  • Food menu selection is balanced by taking into account the nutritional content present in it and avoiding the preserved foods.
  • The food menu needs to meet the healthy nutrients of the perfect 5 ie carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Thanks for reading.

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