How to Track your Child’s Growth?
July 1, 2020 | 1:00 pm
National Nutrition Council (NNC) sets “Batang Pinoy, Sana Tall. Iwas Stunting, Sana All” as the theme for this year’s nutrition month. Ajinomoto joins the celebration of National Nutrition Month this July to bring to light the ill effects of stunting and how to prevent your child’s healthy growth from being stunted.
According to the 8th National Nutrition Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 3 out of 10 Filipino Children were classified to be stunted.
Stunting or “pagkabansot” in our native tongue is a manifestation of long term occurrence of malnutrition. It is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) “as impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.” The WHO also provided Child Growth Standards based on height-for-age to check if a child is stunted or at risk of being stunted.
Tracking your child’s growth is a must especially in the first 60 months of your child’s life. Your child’s height is a good indicator of proper nourishment brought by proper nutrition and overall wellness of your child.
How to measure your child’s height?
To get a detailed measurement, you may visit your child’s pediatrician or go to the nearest health center and check for your child’s length or height.
- For babies 0-2 years old, an infantometer is recommended to measure the child’s length. It is obtained by laying down the child with its back flat on the infantometer and measuring the length of the child’s head down to its foot.
- For children 2-5 years old and above, you may use a standing height chart
What is your Child’s Ideal length/height for his/her age?
The National Nutrition Council provided a simplified and more understandable Child Growth Standard Table based on WHO Child Growth Standards (WHO-CGS) 2004 and WHO Reference Data, 2006.
Immediate interventions are critical as growth failure can start from the womb and progress after birth. Mothers must have adequate nutrition in order to proper supply needs of their babies especially during breastfeeding. Babies from 0-6 months are recommended to be given exclusive breastfeeding to gain their optimum nutrients perfect for their age. Infants from 6-12 months must be introduced to weaning food complemented with daily milk intake.
Children up to 5 years old have a window of opportunity to prevent stunting through effective interventions. To prevent your child from having growth failure, it is important to address poor diet, inadequate calorie intake, poor quality of meal intake, and insufficient supply of macro and micro nutrients specific for growth and development with the help of healthy recipes. Hygiene and sanitation is likewise key to preventing infections that may also cause stunting.
Stay tuned for more height and nutrition tips and stunting prevention action! Stay safe, ka-Cookmunity®.
Christian Joseph S. Baluyot, RND is AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION’s Junior Specialist for Culinary Nutrition. He develops recipe, conducts nutrition research and provides nutrition information as a licensed nutritionist-dietitian. Jhay graduated at the Manila Tytana Colleges with a Bachelor’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition with Culinary Arts.
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