Nutrition of pre-school children

Nutrition of pre-school children

The Pre School children are vulnerable. They are affected readily where the diet is poor in quality and quantity and infection diseases and infestations are wide spread. The rate of growth and development of pre-school children depend to large measures on the adequacy of the diet consumed by them. Frequent attack of infection diseases further increases the requirement of various nutrients.

According to Pre Primary Teachers Training the pre-school growth rates is not as rapid infancy. This group comprises 15% of the total population. Among these, 2/3 is well-nourished. Moreover, this group commonly affected by deficiency diseases like vitamin A deficiency and anemia. Apart from these, the most nutritional problems persisting among pre-school children are Kwashiorkor and Marasinots. Now can see the physical change tacking place during pre-school period.


During infancy, the increased weight is 7kg. Whereas the weight increment is 2.5Kg-3Kg. for the age of group of 1-2 your child.


The body needs energy to maintain body temperature, for metabolic purposes, to support growth for physical activity.

For this purpose the ECCE Mumbai recommended, the use of body weight of healthy children. Who had no constraints of any nature and who could express their full genetic potential for Growth.

Based on growth of undernourished and underweight children on supplementation, the committee suggested that providing energy on the basis of ideal weight for age would be beneficial.


     Dietary protein is necessary not only to provide amino acid but also nitrogen for the syather’s body proteins and other biologically important hydrogenous constituents, all of which are turned over continuously in the body. There are two basis approaches to determination of the proteins requirements. The first is based upon the factorial method, where in endogenous losses are measured and second is based upon the actual estimation of the lowest amount of nitrogen intake necessary to maintain nitrogen equilibrium.


Calcium requirement of children can be calculate on the basis of the amount of calcium accretion during the period growth. This can be computed from a knowledge of the calcium content of the infant at birth and of an adult.


Iron is an important constituent of hemoglobin, myoglobin and several enzymes. The body contains between 3-4 g. Of iron of which about 75% is present as circulating iron and rest as storage iron. Consumption of diets which do not provide enough iron leads at first a progressive depletion of storage iron and only later do levels of hemoglobin fall, leading to anaemia.


Vitamin are essential for the maintenance of normal health. Although needed in very small amounts, they play an important role in the metabolism of several nutrients.


Health Education for pre-school children

According to Montessori Training health education should aim at achieving the optimum health for all by giving not only information about good health but also by bringing about attitudinal change in their health habits. Health education to children in pre-school is not only to aim at information thrust but to bring out a behavioral change.


Role of pre-school in health education

The pre-school program begins with health check up by the teacher. Children are suspect able to communicable   diseases. They easily get affected Hence, the teacher is conscious that the children when they reach the school are free from any diseases. She also sees that children do not have long nails to avoid accumulation of dirt. Simultaneously she also talk to the children the need for cutting the nails and keep clean.

Children are thought to clean their hands and legs after their outdoor free play. This becomes a regular activity in the pre-school. Thus, the children are aware that whenever they play outside they should wash their hands and legs. During the launch time also before and after they eat they are made to wash their hands which in turn continues even at home. The child does not get not only the knowledge of being clean but practice in everyday life. In pre-school, it is emphasis that they get nutritious diet and thought through free conversation, storytelling, rhymes and games the need for eating greens, vegetables, milk, pluses etc. In facts, this knowledge and habits of eating bring the children transformation in their life.

The children are also thought to keep their surrounding and clean and tidy themselves pick up the papers flying around them and learn to use the dustbin.

Almost all the child welfare program including the national program emphasis good health, immunization, nutritious food through health education both to parent and children.

Thus the pre-school can play a vital role in promoting good health habits among the pre-school children.