Date of Award

4-12-2016

Document Type

Capstone

First Advisor

Dr. Cheryl Braxton, Ed.D.

Abstract

Proper nutrition in utero, infancy, and childhood is essential for a child’s normal physical, emotional, and cognitive growth. Nutritional deficiencies during this period can have severe and permanent effects on a child. Pregnant mothers who do not meet their own nutritional guidelines while carrying a child put themselves and their child at risk for a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional ailments that could render them unable to be successful academically and in employment as adults, unable to have fulfilling relationships, and experience a low sense of self-worth, and a low quality of life. These risks become greater if the nutritional deprivation ensues through childhood. Children who do not receive adequate nutrition are at risk for a variety of learning disabilities, behavioral problems, emotional and mental instability, obesity and all the health risks that are associated with obesity, as well as overall poor physical well being. A child’s potential is essentially determined by the nutrition they receive from conception on, meaning it can be diminished greatly before a child is even born and able to conceptualize and change what is happening to them as a result of their diet. Resources are available for caregivers who struggle to provide proper nutrition to children. No child should have to live at a disadvantage as a result of poor diet as it is one hundred percent preventable if caregivers follow nutritional guidelines for themselves if pregnant, and nutritional guidelines as instructed for the child throughout their life; as well as educate them as to what a balanced and nutritious diet is, and the importance of eating well, and model healthy eating habits.

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