Good nutrition is apparent when the child is getting good food. The direct cause of malnutrition is the child not getting enough good food for his daily body requirements. But a very important thing to find out is why he is not getting enough. There are many reasons, and some of them depend on others.
Here are a few generally accepted factors on which proper nutrition depends. Everybody dealing with malnutrition must find out which factors are most important in his or her are on how her or she can contribute to an improvement. Good or proper nutrition depends on:
Clearing of land at the right time
Planting of sufficient good crops
Use of irrigation and fertilizer, if necessary, and advice from agricultural extension workers
Harvesting at the right time, and safe storage of the foods to avoid losses through pests
A good transport and distribution system to get enough good food to all regions
Sufficient money and resources wisely allocated for priorities like agricultural improvements, food and fuel, education, health, etc.
Enough cultivatable land for sufficient food crops and also cash crops for income
Communal production and fair distribution and marketing
Enough productive jobs and hard work
Control of alcoholism to avoid waste of money and manpower
Safe and sufficient water supplies essential for drinking, cooking, cleaning.
Enough fuel available for adequate cooking
Use of latrines and raising of the general standards of sanitation
Vector and disease control is important for nutrition and general health
Spreading of knowledge on good nutrition and child health in schools, families and communities
Showing ways to improve on the present attitudes and practices. Special emphasis should be put on proper nutrition in the most vulnerable groups- children and mothers.
Ensure that all the children receive enough food and attention. The younger children usually need more care.
If the mother or father, or both, are away from home for work, it is important to ensure that children are looked after properly and that they get enough food.
There should be appropriate distribution of money, work and food within the family. Support for the mother is important to keep the children healthy. Children should get their share of high-quality energy and foods. Children need small portions of food more often than adults as they cannot digest large quantities at one time.
Prevention and treatment of perinatal infections of mother and baby, particularly chlamydial infection and STDs
Prevention of HIV infection
Immunization against vaccine-preventable infections like measles. Comprehensive vaccination for children and good material care, contribute very much to proper nutrition.
Early detection and effective treatment of acute diseases like the diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory tract infections.
Good management of chronic diseases or congenital malformations that interfere with children’s food intake or food utilization can often produce at least some improvement.
For a good nutrition, it is important to treat illness in adults properly as illness reduces the work force and diminishes an adult’s ability to take proper care of children.