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Early childhood diet determines better future

Posted:  Monday, January 04, 2016

Good diet at an early age influences future performance! It is well known fact, including nutrient rich foods has greater impact on child growth and development. A new study has revealed that healthy diet during the early childhood improves cognition and overall performance 10 years later.

Anett Nyaradi, a researcher at Telethon Kids Institute studied the eating habits of more than 2200 Australian children. The data available from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study was used for assessment; and it was linked to the Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment results.

The study findings indicated that children eating fruits at age one performed better and secured higher scores in mathematics and reading at age five; and high scores in mathematics, reading, writing and spelling at age 7. The overall academic performance was better in children consuming dairy products such as yogurt or cheese sticks at age 1, 2 or 3 years.

Upholding the outcome of the study results, Dr. Nyaradi said, "If a child has higher academic performance they will end up with higher education, higher income, better jobs and high socioeconomic positions, which could influence their health outcomes"

The researchers recommend a healthy diet with wholegrain, vegetables, fruit and better quality proteins such as chicken, fish and eggs. However, the children should avoid processed meats, food snacks and soft drinks. This is especially important during the first two years of childhood, which is a vital period for brain development.

Importantly, parents will have to model the healthy eating behaviour for the child to follow. Consumption of dairy products along with fruits during the first year will improve the academic performance due to better congnition.

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