Parents learn about importance of nutrients in kids’ mental growth


  • Community
  • Tuesday, 05 May 2015

A test: A child trying out the SpeedSmart exercise during the Dutch Lady Smart Steps workshop. Looking on is Dr Ng (second from right).

IT WAS a day of fun and learning for parents and their children who attended Dutch Lady Malaysia’s “Smart Steps – Uncover the Power of Nutrition to your Child’s Development” workshop.

Assoc Prof Dr Alvin Ng Lai Oon from Sunway University shared data collected from the South-East Asian Nutrition Surveys (Seanuts) which showed the link between childhood nutrition and mental development.

Dr Ng explained how parents can keep track of developmental milestones or abilities at different ages.

He said unlike physical milestones, cognitive milestones were not as obvious.

He gave the example of being able to uncover toys under a cloth and matching shapes and colours which may be physical moves, but needed mental processing to achieve.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Yong Junina said the milestones helped parents monitor overall growth and development.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Prof Dr Poh Bee Koon and Seanuts principal investigator said lack of nutrients led to stunted physical growth, slowed brain development and affected the immune system.

Dr Poh said different nutrients were required at various stages of development for a healthy and active brain.

Dr Ng conducted a SpeedSmart training session for the children present.

SpeedSmart focuses on practising certain skills repeatedly within a short time to improve speed and accuracy, so that children are able to master that particular skill automatically.

Mother of two Leona Lim said the workshop helped her gain insight on how to help children achieve more developmental milestones.


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