Child Development Stages – Definition and Importance

Child development stages are the theoretical milestones of child development. Early childhood is a time of tremendous growth across all areas of development. Physical changes in early childhood are accompanied by rapid changes in the child’s cognitive and language development. Children learn in many different ways and each child has his own pace of learning.

Developmental milestones are divided into four major skills:

Speech or language skill: It involves both, verbal and nonverbal communication. Language skills develop best in an environment that is rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to the speech and language of others.

Cognitive skills: These are centered on child’s ability to think, learn, and solve problems. Cognitive skill development in children involves the progressive building of learning skills.

Social Skills: This involves child’s ability to gain an understanding of their emotions as well as emotions of others. These milestones also involve learning how to interact and play with others.

Gross motor skills: It involves both large-motor skills and fine-motor skills. The large-motor skills are usually the first to develop like sitting, standing up etc. wherein fine-motor skills involve precise movements such as grasping a spoon, holding a crayon etc.

Importance of child development stages:

• Monitoring development stages of your kid may help you in recognizing any development delays. However, every child grows and changes at his or her own pace and exposure to a suitable environment may help them in catching up.

• Even though babies develop at their own pace, every baby should meet the infant milestones by a certain age, or early intervention is needed. It is important to know the physical, language, cognitive, and social milestones for babies.

• Early diagnosis can be really helpful in catching up on development milestones delays. It is important to get the right diagnosis because with a diagnosis kids can get the help and therapy they need to thrive.

• A healthcare provider may be consulted in case parents notice extreme delays among children in reaching age specific milestones.

• A developmental milestone is an ability that is achieved by most children by a certain age. Kids love to learn new things by exploring and discovering. They love to solve problems during play and in daily activities. Having a safe,loving and stimulating environment at home and spending time with family members while playing, singing, reading, and talking can help children in achieving such milestones

Food Acids We Consume Regularly

Food acids are the vital acids found in natural and synthetic food products that give them a distinct flavor or a tinge. Many fruits, vegetables and dairy products contain some type of acid. Human body tends to react differently to different types of food acids. Some of these acids provide nutrients or help alleviate some maladies whilst some have adverse effects on health when they are not consumed in appropriate amounts.

Citric Acid: This is a natural preservative found primarily in citrus fruits. Limes and Lemons are the best sources of citric acid, followed by other citrus fruits and strawberries, tomatoes and pineapples. A great quantity of all the citric acid produced is contained in soft drinks and other beverages, where it boosts flavors and adds a slightly sour taste. Citric acid also acts as a preservative and flavor enhancer in foods, including frozen foods, meat products, canned vegetables, jams, gelatins, candies.

Malic Acid: This is a component of many of the foods that we eat daily; mainly contained in candies, diet sodas and other artificially sweetened drinks due to its ability in masking artificial flavors and alternative sweeteners. The food that is most famous for its high malic acid content is the apple. Other fruits with a very high concentration of the acid are lychees, peaches nectarines, cherries, tomatoes, bananas, mangoes, and strawberries.

Tartric Acid: This compound is naturally found in many plants, particularly in grapes, tamarinds, pineapples, potatoes, carrots and bananas. It is also one of the especial acids found in wine. Tartaric acid can be added to food when a sour taste is desired. Tartaric acids have a dual role of an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory which can help boost the immune system and promote overall wellness.

Acetic Acid: Acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid, is a sour-tasting compound best known for the sour taste and pungent smell in vinegar, pickles, and sourdough bread. Its produced by fermenting and oxidizing ethanol and the distillation of wood. Acetic acid has many functions, but it is mostly used as a chemical reagent, fungicide, herbicide, and solvent in a variety of industries such as food, agriculture, cosmetics and cleaning.

Oxalic Acid: Oxalates or Oxalic acids is a compound occurring in many plants and vegetables. It is also produced in the body by metabolism of glyoxylic acid or ascorbic acid and does not go through metabolism but excreted in the urine. The body is known to absorb oxalic acid from only a handful of foods, including peanuts, pecans, cocoa, guava, rhubarb wheat bran, spinach, beets and beet greens and chocolate.

Benzoic acid: A natural source of benzoic acid is gum benzoin, which comes from certain tree barks, but, it can also be made by synthetic means. Benzoic acid is very useful as Preservatives to make food products last longer, and also eradicate harmful yeast and bacteria. Benzoic acid is present in various products, including Cranberries, prunes and plums sauces, jams, jellies and candied fruits.

Butyric acid: Butyric acid also known as butanoic acid, is a saturated short-chain fatty acid with a 4-carbon backbone occurring in the form of esters in animal fats and plant oils. Butyrate is produced as end-product of a fermentation process such as, decomposition of butter solely performed by obligate anaerobic bacteria. It is found in milk, especially sheep and buffalo milk, goat, cheese and butter.

Lactic acid: This is an organic compound which is white and water-soluble in its solid state and colourless in its liquid state. It is produced both naturally and artificially but naturally present in many foodstuffs via natural fermentation in products such as cheese, yogurt, soy sauce, sourdough, meat products and pickled vegetables. Lactic acid in food products usually serves as either as a pH regulator or as a preservative. It is also used as a flavouring agent.

Tannic Acid: Tannic acid, or tannin, is a bitter-tasting compound that is derived from plants. It is the component of red wine or unripe fruit that makes your mouth want to ruck. Grapes contain a high concentration of tannins which is critical to the art of wine making. Other products that contain this acid are Green Tea, nettle, oakwood, berries, Chinese galls, persimmons.

Caffeo-tannic Acid: This is a Chlorogenic acid, from coffee, yielding caffeic acid by precipitation with baryta and salts of lead. It is known for relatively lower toxicity and used widely in many other fields like food, feed additives and cosmetics.

What Indoor Rowing Taught Me About Food

When recently asked to discuss nutrition “worsts” for athletes, I zeroed in on one. But I think it applies to the holidays, too. Let’s take a look.

Taking an off-season with food is as energy-damaging as it gets.

My endurance coach, Jim Karanas, used to say, “Endurance athletes don’t mind expending energy, but they don’t want to waste it.”

Wasted energy is energy spent with no performance payoff. And the wasted energy of a food off-season is considerable:
• It wastes physical energy for your body to deal with junky food.
• It wastes time and energy to get things back on track for the next athletic season.
• It wastes effort to correct bad habits, weight gain, mood swings, loss of motivation – and to re-create the right training state.

What stress on body and mind!

It reminds me of the terrible habits professional sports teams used to have when I was a kid. They’d actually stop all training during their off-season and then have to use the pre-season training period to get back in shape. Really. Think of the time, effort and money that took. Fortunately, pro athletes no longer do that.

But some non-pros may still do it with food!

How Can Indoor Rowing Help with Food?

In the book The Stress of Life, Hans Selye defines stress as anything that takes the body out of homeostasis. If clean eating is your habit during your sport season – whatever that may be – then letting your nutrition slide is stress on your body.

And once you’ve established the new, junky pattern, shifting gears to get back to healthful habits again is additional stress on your body.

A few years ago, I learned a concept from the best rowing coach I know (and I’ve had several). Because he’s such a talented instructor and coach, he deserves a shout-out: Duncan Kennedy, who rowed with the U.S. national team from 1993 to 1994. He knows his stuff and loves to teach.

Duncan suggested that his indoor rowers use an outdoor rowing technique called Battle Paddle. In a crew boat, even during recovery moments, the rowers need to be in sync to prevent an 8-oar free-for-all.

So the strokes are just relaxed paddling, but the team stays in formation. Most importantly, the rowers are ready to drive into action as soon as they receive the signal. That vigilance underlies the relaxation at all times.

How about an athletic off-season that mirrors this concept with food – and becomes the nutrition equivalent of Battle Paddle?

Keep food intake – quantity and quality – under control, perhaps allowing an occasional dessert, say, once a week. From that point, driving into action for the next season will be a simple and disciplined matter.

How Can Battle Paddle Work for You?

Why can’t non-athletes use this concept during the holidays? Too often, my clients let food pandemonium take over – with all the stress that puts on the body, and all the effort they have to go through to undo the damage when January gets here.

Ideally, we’d all avoid troublesome foods all year. But choose your Battles, right?

If you can’t bring yourself to avoid holiday goodies this season – and if you really believe you can handle it (although that may not be true!) – stick to your healthful guidelines just 99% of the time.

Like rowers on the water, maintain the discipline of good form. Relax only enough to have the occasional – and that’s the operative word – treat.

Please keep in mind that this plan may backfire for anyone with an addictive reaction to specific foods, especially foods with sugar. I’m in that category, so my holidays will NOT be done in Battle Paddle mode. It’s better for me to stay away from trouble altogether. I encourage my clients to do the same, but the decision is theirs.

At least the Battle Paddle food plan is a giant step beyond “kitchen anarchy”!

Bonus Tip

The drawback of Battle Paddle is discovering that the occasional dessert has led to many, and having to go through the process of quitting sugar all over again.