The domain of child nutrition remains a sufficiently ignored area in the current times. Despite the stringent focus on regulatory policies and newer programmes introduced by the government, too many children suffer due to improper nutrition. A sad reality of our times is that the government now promises greater access to free doctor visits than nutritional education and educating the parents regarding this important subject. Survey suggests that way too many children suffer from basic nutrient deficiency including iron and folic acid. At the school level, we are seeing a number of students fall victim to viral illnesses and flu, diseases that are often the byproduct of nutritional deficiencies.
Ofcourse the most logical and also the most commonly observed factor responsible for this declining health of our young is their growing fondness of fast food and sugary substances. We belong to a generation where a majority of children have not seen their parents and particularly mothers prepare food at home. This is coupled with major lifestyle changes such as increased inclination towards frozen and junk food items and the absence of habitual grocery shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables. The combination of all this has resulted in poor nutritional habits particularly among pre-adolescents and pres-school children.
As a remedy the government has now promised that children who are under the age of six will be given free healthcare visits to the doctors’ office. This initiative however fails to address the core issue at hand. A number of health experts advocate that children who are fed a healthy diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables tend to be at a greater risk for various diseases. This trend is highly disturbing and in the absence of adequate educational programmes designed exclusively for the parents, there is little hope.