Cognitive Development in Toddlers and Its Impact

All children grow at a different pace, and this development is influenced primarily by their exposure to various situations. Children who grow through their own personal experience will develop faster than those who are given to understand the consequences of hypothetical situations. Toddler cognitive development begins when the child is brought into contact with members of the immediate family. In the initial stage of development, the child associates sight and hearing with different stimuli around him/ her. Actions and reflex actions performed are part of...

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...cognitive development in this stage. As the child grows older, cognitive development will also involve the use of the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. All development in children also brings about an increase in the functioning of the brain and cognitive brain development is therefore considered to be a subject of importance. Infants and toddlers who are subject to uncomfortable situations that hamper their growth are at a great risk of being affected by the actions of others, later on in life. Maltreatment and abuse during the early years will cause repercussions during the teenage years and adolescence. Children’s personalities and growth depend upon the stimulation they receive from the environment around them. Holistic development is dependent on receiving the correct stimulation from external sources around them. Positive experiences during the early years will help the child to grow up with a better constitution than a child who has had negative and emotionally disturbing experiences during the early years.

Nutrition and Cognitive Development

Correct nutrition is extremely important in assisting cognitive development. The best nutrition for cognitive development begins with breast feeding your child. This not only provides the baby with the required nutrients for growth, but also helps to build an emotional bond between mother and child. Research has shown that children who are breast fed will show faster cognitive development than those who are bottle fed. The growth of children who face malnutrition is much lower than those that are given nutritious meals.

Malnutrition is an inadequate amount of nutrition and is responsible for retarding cognitive growth and development. A correct nutritional diet ensures that there is proper neurological development, which facilitates cognitive development, allowing for further development of the sensory-motor skills. As the child grows out of infancy and into the years where more solid food is easily digested, including vegetables and fruits that provide essential nutrients to the body is recommended. Adding fish to the diet gives the body its requirement of nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids, which is also beneficial in enhancing neurological development.

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