NNIW 100 Interviews: Bernadette Benitez

Growth & Development


Both nature and nurture factors influence a child's brain and cognitive development. Nature involves inherent factors like genes, while nurture encompasses modifiable factors such as nutrition and environmental stimulation. Strategies for optimizing cognitive development include enhancing the environment with social interactions, expanding the child's social circle, and promoting exposure to other children in the community. Nutrition is a fundamental component of this strategy, underscoring the importance of pediatricians ensuring children receive appropriate nutrition. Nutritional deficiencies can significantly affect a child's brain development, overall well-being, and health. The impact of such deficiencies depends on factors like the timing of deprivation, the child's environment, and when intervention occurs. Short-term effects may include nutritional problems and sensory issues that hinder learning, while long-term neglect of these issues can impede a child's learning abilities and future opportunities as an adult.