Tackling micronutrient deficiencies in children

THE HANS INDIA |   Aug 13,2017 , 10:15 PM IST


Micronutrient deficiencies are a huge national issue and experts have emphasised on the need for taking measures to combat the same. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than two billion people are deficient in key vitamins and minerals.

Micronutrients are essential vitamins and minerals required by the body in small quantities,which play an important role in the production of certain enzymes and hormones to regulate the growth and immune system, especially of a child.

Dr Jyoti Chabria, Senior Consultant Dietician and Nutritionist, Nutriline- The Wellness Centre, Secunderabad, said, “Micronutrients are the building blocks for a child’s holistic growth and parents should keep this in mind while planning their diet. These essential nutrients, if given from an early age, will have long-term consequences on their health.

The solutions like nutrients rich baby food need to be adopted to control and prevent micronutrient deficiencies are available which from the very beginning.” Experts said that addition of ceregrow a breakfast cereal in an infant’s daily diet could help to overcome micronutrient deficiency.

“These measures also increase the vitamin and mineral levels in the body. Moreover, if these viable and affordable approaches are integrated with other healthy activities, they would go a long way in ensuring that the child’s growth is not hampered. Comprehensive strategies which use food as a tool can bring about sustainable improvements and contribute to the nutritional well-being of a child,” said Dr Jyoti. Interventions like diet diversification and food fortification have found to be successful approaches in preventing nutritional deficiencies.

These strategies have shown a positive impact on the nutritional status of infants and children. While diet diversification constitutes consumption of a diet consisting of different food items including green vegetables, fruits and cereals, food fortification is adding vitamins and minerals to food items to enhance their nutritional value.

These should not be a replacement but as an integral and a complementary part of the diet. “The need of the hour is to realise the importance of micronutrients in a child’s diet and to plan a comprehensive food strategy which include the same,” says the doctor.

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