Physical growth is easily measured in terms of weight
and height. Individual growth is an individual matter, sudden weight
gain may be as ominous as weight loss.
In general, a baby weighs three times as much at the end of the
first year as he did when he was born. His birth weight is doubled
at approximately five months of age. Continuous weight gain during
the first year is one index of good nutrition. If a baby's weight
after the first few months from birth remains stationary this is an indication
of illness or improper feeding. Weight continues to increase during
the second year, but at a considerable slower "velocity." Sometime
around two or three years of age, a child may look comparatively thin and
undernourished to a worried mother, although his growth rate is normal.
A great growth spurt comes with puberty, which begins at different ages
in different children. Rapidly growing adolescents customarily consume,
and need more food than adults.
How tall will a child be? There are some rough formulas
for predicting height. First take a child's height at two years of
age and multiply by two. Add slightly to this result if the child
is a boy, subtract a little if the child is a girl. The answer, however
cannot be taken too seriously since growth is not a fixed process but a
In order to grow our bodies must obtain fuel and energy to meet
the needs of our body cells. The substances that meet these needs
are called nutrients. Animals take in these nutrients by eating food.
Food supplies us with necessary nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins,
fats, vitamins, and minerals. In order to keep our bodies in the
best of health we must eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet includes
eating from the four food groups, milk group, meat group, vegetable and
fruit group, and breads and cereals group. Three to four groups per
day insures a nutritionally balanced diet.
- Give the student the worksheet and read off
the words listed below. Have the students write in the appropriate
place whether they are needed for the body to grow or they are not needed.
- The answers for the lab sheet are that the body does not need
coffee, paint, dirt, candy, nor aspirin.