Nutrition is a process of using food normally consumed by an organism through the process of digestion, absorption, transport, storage, metabolism and expenditure of substances not used to maintain the normal life, growth, and function of the organs, and generate energy. Proverawati; Asfuah; 2010:1)
Nutrition is Very Important
Nutrition is a very important part of growth and development. It is because:
1. Nutrition in it has a close connection with health and intelligence. Therefore, nutrition becomes one of the determinants of the quality of human resources.
2. A good nutritional status in children under 5 years should get more attention. Because when the nutritional status of children under 5 years is bad, can inhibit the physical growth, mental and ability to think and of course will decrease work productivity.
3. The type of food and the way it is given also needs to be in accordance with the circumstances of body growth and development of intelligence. Thus, will be obtained a balanced nutrition for Children under 5 years. Basically, the human caloric needs vary according to age, sex, activity, weight, height etc.
Children under 5 years of age 1-5 years can be divided into two, namely:
- children aged over one year to three years known as “toddlers”
- And children aged more than three years to five years known as the “preschool” age. Children under five years are a group that shows the rapid growth of the body but this group is the most common group suffering from malnutrition (Proverawati, Asfuah, 2010, 127)
Carrying out the best feeding to Children under 5 years aims to:
- Provide adequate nutrition for the needs, maintain health and restore it if ill, perform various activities, growth, and physical and mental development.
- Educate good habits about eating, liking and determining the food needed.
Important Nutrition Of Children under 5 years
- Nutritional Needs in Children under 5 years need more nutrients because Children under 5 years (1-5 years of age) is a golden period.
- Period of life is very important for physical and mental development, at this time also Children under 5 years began to do and find new things. In this case, good nutrition plays an important role.
- No giving food intake containing substances that are not good, such as foods containing preservatives, artificial colorings, artificial sweeteners, food delights and the like, it will look its effect on the health of the body.
- Thus, the provision of food with a balanced nutritional fulfillment is the right way to maintain health and growth of children under 5 years. So, pay attention to the good diet for Children under 5 years.
The essential nutrients
Among the essential nutrients for food intake for children under 5 years are as follows:
(1) Carbohydrates are easily available energy sources in every food and should be available in sufficient quantities because carbohydrate deficiency can cause hunger and weight loss if the number of carbohydrates in high amounts can cause an increase in weight or obesity. Sufficient amounts of carbohydrates can be obtained from milk, grains, fruits, flour, tubers, wheat and others.
(2) Protein should be consumed in a balanced way because protein is required for the growth and development of the child. Protein is used after carbohydrates and fats are inadequate in the body supply. Protein sources can be obtained from chicken, beans, milk, yogurt, bread, and others.
(3) Fat is the main energy source for growth and physical activity for Children under 5 years. Fat member tasty taste, satiety, and delicious food. Food sources derived from fat such as meat, butter, mayonnaise, cheese, milk.
(4) Vitamins and minerals are recommended to always be served in the daily diet. Because the vitamin is not produced by the body in large quantities. Vitamins are helpful in fighting free radicals. Vitamins can be found in bread, fruits, vegetables, milk, meat.
The function of several food nutrients according to Dwijayanti (2011: 31) as follows:
(1) Carbohydrates serve to conserve protein during energy production. And help burn fat to be more efficient and more perfect. Become a source of quick energy, help the normal function of the intestine, as laksatif helps calcium absorbs.
(2) Proteins function for growth, repair, maintenance of structures and tissues, hormone formation, helps transport other substances in the blood, as well as energy sources.
(3) Fats function is to produce energy for the body, facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, supply essential fatty acids, support and protect internal organs, help regulate temperature, lubricate body tissues.
(4) Vitamins and minerals function in antioxidants, coenzymes, food additives, medicinal ingredients
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