In infancy, growth is rapid. Infants usually double their birth weight by 6 months before growth slows.In childhood growth occurs in spurts. Parents sometimes battle with their child over food, but the child usually remains healthy.Adolescence brings another period of rapid growth.Adulthood is the final stage, when physical growth levels off.Ask students to talk about their children, younger siblings, or children they have cared for to discuss any situations they may have dealt with related to this material.
What three things are critical for accurately assessing a child?Ask students if they have experienced any strong attitudes toward food. For example:“I didn’t like green peppers as a child, but I acquired a taste for them as I grew older.”“I have a nephew who won’t eat anything green.”“If a parent doesn’t eat certain foods, the child may not eat them either.”
Explain the concept of percentile and how the growth charts were developed.
Demonstrate how the chart is used by giving an example.
Case Study:Adam is an 8-year-old boy who weighs 60 lbs and is 52 inches tall.
The most appropriate chart to plot Adam’s growth would be the CDC’s chart for boys ages 2 to 20.
Adam’s weight for age according to the CDC growth chart for boys ages 2 to 20 is at the 74th percentile.Adam’s height for age according the CDC growth chart for boys ages 2 to 20 is at the 75th percentile.Adams is within the normal range for height and weight for a boy his age using the 50th percentile as the average height and weight.
Differentiate fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.Nurses should encourage the use of foods, not tablets, to replace nutrients. It is important to stress that individuals need some of all the nutrients that are disallowed in the low-fat and low-carbohydrate crazes.
Ask students to explain why calcium and iron are especially needed during periods of growth.
Why do infants need vitamin K supplementation? (Infants are born without the bacterial flora that eventually produces vitamin K.)
Identify the three birth weights and their differences.Identify the differences in premature and full-term infants.Why are preterm babies subject to problems?How does nursing restore the mother’s body after childbirth?
Emphasize that the feeding process is an important part of the bonding relationship between parent and child.
Review the benefits of breast-feeding.
Ask students to explain how to avoid problems when preparing the formula.
Discuss some methods that may help wean a baby from bottle-feeding.
What foods should be introduced first? Give reasons.
Toddlers need to have a variety of foods, including hand-held foods. Precautions need to be taken with some foods, such as baby carrots, which can cause choking and aspiration.Preschoolers tend to eat on the run and in spurts. Food sprees and binges are normal.Parents should not allow children to eat while moving about because of the risk of choking.
School-age girls tend to grow faster than boys and may need more food. Parents should provide healthy snacks to prevent obesity.
For school-age children (5 to 12 years old), growth rate continues to be slow and irregular. This time is accompanied by overall body changes. Reserves are being laid a few years prior to adolescence for the rapid growth period ahead. It is important to educate on healthy eating during meal times and in the classroom. Emphasis is placed on healthy food choices rather than empty calories. Activities that involve independent choosing of healthy food items is important so child can make healthy choices as he/she gets older. Balancing food intake with exercise and fun activity is also important in this age group to promote a healthy life style as child ages.
Discuss the rise in obesity and interventions developed to combat it.
Discuss how peer pressure affects eating habits.
Ask students to describe how television ads affect the way adolescents feel about themselves.Ask students to identify signs and symptoms of eating disorders.Emphasize the importance of early intervention.