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Diet During Child Illness - Hindi
Diet During Child Illness - Hindi

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Watch More Videos — Nutrition and Growth Library

Watch More Videos — Nutrition and Growth Library
HealthPhone: Hand Washing with Soap and Water — Hindi

Hindiहिन्दी - Mānak Hindī - Hindi
India, South Africa, Nepal

Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness.

Undernutrition contributes to more than one third of all deaths in children under the age of five. It does this by stealing children's strength and making illness more dangerous. An undernourished child struggles to withstand an attack of pneumonia, diarrhoea or other illness – and illness often prevails.

Undernutrition is caused by poor feeding and care, aggravated by illness. The children who survive may become locked in a cycle of recurring illness and faltering growth – diminishing their physical health, irreversibly damaging their development and their cognitive abilities, and impairing their capacities as adults. If a child suffers from diarrhoea – due to a lack of clean water or adequate sanitation, or because of poor hygiene practices – it will drain nutrients from his or her body.

And so it goes, from bad to worse: Children who are weakened by nutritional defi ciencies cannot stave off illness for long, and the frequent and more severe bouts of illness they experience make them even weaker. More than a third of the children who died from pneumonia, diarrhoea and other illnesses could have survived if they had not been undernourished.

Improved feeding of children under two years of age is particularly important because they experience rapid growth and development, are vulnerable to illness and there is evidence that feeding practices are poor in most developing countries.  Continued breastfeeding beyond six months should be accompanied by consumption of nutritionally adequate, safe and appropriate complementary foods that help meet nutritional requirements when breastmilk is no longer sufficient. From 6-12 months, breastfeeding – if implemented optimally – should continue to provide half or more of the child's nutritional needs, and from 12-24 months, at least one-third of their nutritional needs. In addition to nutrition, breastfeeding continues to provide protection to the child against many illnesses and provides closeness and contact that helps psychological development.  Appropriate complementary foods can be readily consumed and digested by the young child from six months onwards and provides nutrients - energy, protein, fat and vitamins and minerals - to help meet the growing child's needs in addition to breastmilk.

Low-quality complementary foods combined with inappropriate feeding practices put under-twos in developing countries at high risk for undernutrition and its associated outcomes. Too often, solid, semi-solid and soft foods are introduced too soon or too late. The frequency and amount of food offered may be less than required for normal child growth, or their consistency or nutrient density may by inappropriate in relation to the child's needs. Too much of a poor complementary food could displace the more nutritive breastmilk in the child's diet.


Produced by: USAID India

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Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health, Breastfeeding, Complementary Feeding and Hand Washing

Watch More Videos — Nutrition and Growth Library

12 August, 2014


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