Food and nutrition

Why is nutrition important for pre-school children?

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Nutrients from food are important for energy, growth and development in children.

Children between two and four are undergoing rapid growth and development and often spend a lot of time in spontaneous physical activity. It is important children get enough energy to meet their high nutritional needs without exceeding their energy requirements. 

In the short term, a child’s diet impacts on their growth and development and is linked to many common childhood conditions (e.g. iron deficiency anaemia, tooth decay and vitamin D deficiency). In the longer term, a child’s diet can influence their risk in adult life of developing conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity1.


1 NICE, Maternal and Child Nutrition, Quality Standard, July 2015, (last accessed 21.09.17)