The brain is the most potent and essential organ in the human body. It controls the entire body system and process. A healthy and well-developed mind is crucial for thriving in life. When we are a baby, our brain is not well-developed, and we cannot operate in society on our own. Assistance from the parents and their guidance is continuously required.
Through the years, we gain experience, and our brain develops. We learn basic things like walking, speaking, etc. at the early stage of our life. A toddler’s brain develops at a rapid rate. They learn and grasp things efficiently, and their curiosity to learn new things and adapt to their surroundings is very high. Here is how the brain develops in the various stages of a child’s life:-
AGE 0-1 YEARS
At birth, the brain has nearly 200 brain cells, which are also known as neurons. During the first year of our life, our brain grows at a rate of 1.7 grams per day. The nutrition requirement of an infant is also different. The digestive system of a baby is not well developed and advance, so the baby food has to be prepared with significant consideration. The first six months of a baby’s life is spent in consuming only mother’s milk. About 60% of the energy from the infant’s food is utilized in brain growth.
Babies are not very well aware of their surroundings and do not know how to perceive things. Their feeling of happiness is expressed through giggles. When a baby encounters any discomfort, they resort to crying. Babies are in constant need of a loving embrace of their parents. This makes them feel safe and secure.
Additionally, babies need this interaction from the parents and peers to feel comfortable. By the age of 1, an infant may be able to recognize 70 words, but they use only some of them. The first word from a baby’s mouth is usually mom or dad.
AGE 1-2 YEARS
At this phase, rapid growth can be recorded. Communication abilities develop drastically during this age. Toddlers become more curious to communicate with other people to deliver their messages. They will show more interest in engaging in conversations and observe the people around them. By two years of age, our brain develops to about 75% of the total adult weight.
At this age, parents and mothers need to take extra care of their child’s nutritional needs. DHA and omega-3 fatty acids, choline are some of the essential nutrients that enhance brain growth. These nutrients are like the crucial fuel that helps in developing the brain.
At this age, the interest of the toddlers is at peak. They strive to learn new things and tend to become more independent. They become socially apt and can express themselves and their thoughts better. At about 18 months of age, a toddler’s vocabulary increases potentially fast. They can learn a new word every two hours.
AGE 2+ YEARS
Toddlers at this age have trillions of brain cells of neurons. They have nearly 100 trillion synapses or brain connections. This the maximum that an individual can have in their life. The brain has developed into its full capacity and forms the appearance of an adult brain.
At this age, more importance is given to the bones and teeth development. So the dietary needs of a two-year-old child should be furnished with calcium and vitamin D. Make sure that the children at this age are well supplemented with calcium. Vitamin D helps in calcium absorption in the body.
By two years, the vocabulary of the child contains about 300 words. They can put together sentences and are better able to communicate their messages to others.
IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION
Proper nutrition leads to more stable moods and increases a person’s ability to pay attention and improvise memory. Consistent care and love are prominent factors that ensure a healthy brain development of the child. If important values and empathy are taught to children from a young age, they develop a better personality.