KEY POINTS • Optimal nutrition during the first years of life is crucial for optimal growth and development and, possibly, the prevention of chronic disease of adulthood. • Iron‐deficiency anaemia in childhood and adolescence is associated with serious adverse outcomes that may not be reversible, making detection and early treatment an imperative. • Zinc plays a major role in cellular growth. • Vitamin A is essential for the functioning of the eyes and the immune system. • Vitamin A is necessary for membrane stability, and zinc is essential for mobilisation of the beta‐carotene. Vitamin A deficiency contributes to anaemia by immobilising iron in the reticuloendothelial system, reducing haemopoiesis and increasing susceptibility to infections. • Like iron, iodine appears to be involved in myelin production and, hence, nerve conduction. • Meat is a core food in the diet for children and adolescents because it provides significant amounts of these micronutrients. INTRODUCTION Over the first few years of postnatal life, an infant's body undergoes dramatic changes not only in physical attributes, but also in developmental milestones. By three years of age, an infant's head circumference and hence brain size will have reached 80% of what it will potentially achieve in
Nutrition & Dietetics – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 2007
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