The early years of a child’s life are the golden years of their brain development. Approximately 80% of children’s brain development occurs during this period, which is children below five years old. A person’s brain will continue to develop as they get older, but not as fast as a child’s golden age.

The golden age of children is a time when they will experience rapid cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. Therefore, parents need to optimally assist children in fulfilling optimal nutrition and stimulation for the correct growth and development of children during this golden period.

Some of the nutrients needed for children’s development are:

  • The brain needs glucose to carry out its functions properly. Without glucose, children will have difficulty processing and storing new information. Glucose can be obtained from foods that contain carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, etc.
  • Protein and Fiber. Foods that contain lots of protein and fiber such as cereals served with milk can improve children’s brain performance and tend to strengthen their memory abilities.
  • These nutrients are useful for increasing memory storage, thinking skills, language, and motoric movements of children. An example of a food that contains choline is eggs.
  • Essential Fatty Acids. The most important nutrients in the formation and regulation of nerve cells are omega-3 (ALA, EPA, and DHA) and omega-6 (linoleic acid). ALA can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and soybeans. EPA and DHA are found in salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Omega-6 can be obtained from corn oil, sunflower seed oil, and soybean oil.
  • This is a mineral that will help in the development of brain nerve cells in children which can be found in salt, yogurt, and potatoes.

Besides fulfilling nutritional needs, parents also need to provide some appropriate stimulation in their golden age. Examples of stimulation you can do are:

  1. Motor Development

Your child’s motor development needs to be stimulated at this time. For babies, stimulation can be done by placing it on their stomach so they can practice raising their heads. This activity aims to strengthen the neck muscles.

In addition, you can also provide toys with attractive colors and can make sounds so that children can move their hands and feet to reach these toys. As they get older, increase the difficulty level of stimuli, such as asking them to tilt right or left, stand up, walk.

To improve your child’s fine motor skills, you can teach them to understand something, for example putting food in their mouth, picking up things, and scribbling on paper.

  1. Language Development

Another important stimulation during this developmental period is to enhance their language development by inviting your child to talk frequently. At first, they will not understand what you are saying. Over time, your conversations will stimulate them to recognize sounds and improve their vocabulary indirectly. You can provide other stimulation such as listening to music, singing, or reading stories to children.

  1. Emotional Development

To optimize the emotional development of children, you must build good communication with them. Learn to feel and listen to their feelings, responding to their every action with compassion. You can also support them by giving a few positive sentences.

  1. Cognitive Development

You can stimulate children’s intelligence through play. Choose the type of game according to their age stage. You can start with a child activity to recognize the shape, color, name of the object. Furthermore, you can also take the activity to a stage that is more like making them understand the function of an object, how to solve problems, etc.

The golden period of children will not repeat itself. Therefore, parents need to make the best of this period by providing stimulation and proper nutrition in their growth and development.

May 10, 2021

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