17 Oct| 5 min read
Strong mental health is essential for a child's development and well-being. Several genetic, psychological, and environmental factors, including diet, impact a child's mental health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most mental health disorders begin in early childhood, and 50% of mental health problems are confirmed by age 14. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children's rates of depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are rising. Research indicates as many as 1 in 6 children between the ages of 6 and 17 have a treatable mental health disorder. (Ref: AAFP)There is no doubt that the growing brain is subject to the many stresses of the world, including nutritional quality (or lack thereof), stress, anxiety, and depression, which might also stem from cultural pressures to look and eat a certain way. Indeed, one of the most common stressful experiences for many young people is weight-based bullying and teasing.
Diet is critical to mental health, as food directly affects the brain and body. Thus, a healthy diet is necessary for a strong mind, as the two are intrinsically tied. According to the Mental Health Organization in America, healthy eating provides multiple benefits to an individual's mental health and well-being, including boosting mood chemicals, such as serotonin, and increasing energy levels. These factors are essential for children to thrive. Stable psychological and physical health is vital in children, especially for their education, which requires focus and attention. Balanced meals, which include fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, with low added sugar content and low saturated and trans fat, improve energy levels and allow children to perform well at school.
Unsurprisingly, children of color and children living in low-income households have been disproportionately impacted by mental health disorders. According to the CDC, children below the poverty line are more likely to develop a mental health disorder. More than 1 in 5 children below the poverty line, or 22%, suffer from a mental health condition, or behavioral or developmental disorders compared to the national average of 17.4%. Ref: cdc.gov. Children within this demographic suffer from more significant mental health issues because of inaccessibility and barriers to entry. Regarding healthy eating, children living in poverty and low-income households are susceptible to food insecurity and have less access to healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Additionally, children of color and lower-income families have less access to mental health services and often face more significant barriers to mental health treatment.
To combat this issue we at Bambini Health have come up with a unique concept to track the diet and nutrition of preschool children. To know more visit
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