Eating your daily dose of fruits and vegetables is important, especially if you’re a growing child. A healthy diet keeps your body and mind healthy, gives you energy, and helps you concentrate and focus on learning. Did you know that your child’s diet impacts their hearing health as well?
Eating a Healthy Diet
Eating whole grains, dairy products, proteins, fruits, and vegetables are all important for your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list all these foods in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Along with exercise, a balanced diet helps children maintain a healthy body weight, and reduces the chances of developing childhood diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, or cardiovascular diseases. It also promotes future health, instilling your child with good eating habits.
How Poor Nutrition Impacts Hearing Health
Poor nutrition impacts all aspects of your child’s health, including their hearing health. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at data on children and teens who had poor nutrition early in their life. They found that these kids were 50% more likely to have hearing loss than their healthy peers in school.
Another study out of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at the correlation between nutrition and hearing health in over 2,000 teenagers in Nepal. Their nutrition and diet were analyzed between 1989 and 1991 when they were very young. Later, between 2006 to 2008, they tested their hearing. The children who had less nutritional food sources as young children and were underweight for their age were two times more likely to have hearing loss than healthy children with normal body weight and good nutrition as children.
How does poor nutrition in children lead to hearing loss? Not eating healthy foods can impact the early development of the structures of the inner ear, and lead to poor hearing health later in life. For example, the delicate hair cells in the inner ear may not develop properly, meaning your child won’t be able to pick up on all the small changes in sound in the environment, or hear clearly. Ear infections are also very common among those who don’t eat healthy foods, leading to worse hearing health.
Poor Nutrition in the States
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that in 2016, around 12% of American households didn’t have a secure source of nutritious foods, or the ability to afford enough healthy food for everyone. Even among wealthy American families, children are often subjected to poor nutrition due to lack of education about healthy foods, or poor food choices.
Foods that should be avoided are foods high in sugars and fats. These empty calories make up nearly 40% of the daily diet for the average child or teen in America! Very few young adults eat the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables or drink enough water.
Healthy Eating Habits
The best way to get your children to eat well is to lead is by example. If you want your child to have a healthy diet, you should be modeling healthy eating for the entire family. Make sure you and your family are eating a balanced diet, with lots of vegetables at every meal. Choose healthy snacks like fruits to eat between meals and skip the decadent desserts.
Other ways to protect your hearing and encourage healthy ear development in your children is by getting lots of exercise, wearing hearing protection whenever you’re in areas with damaging noise levels, and ensuring your child has regular checkups with a hearing specialist throughout their school years so you’ll be able to detect any changes in hearing as soon as possible.
My Hearing Centers
At My Hearing Centers we know all about your child’s hearing health and hearing needs. Your children will enjoy our easy and painless hearing test, listening for sounds in high and low registers. If your child has hearing loss, the best thing you can do it treat their hearing loss as soon as possible so they can keep up with their hearing peers. We have a wide selection of children’s hearing devices from the top hearing aid brands. They’re designed to help your child or teen learn and grow, both at home and in the classroom, with advanced settings that focus on speech sounds, and reduce distracting background sounds. Our children’s devices also come in an array of bright colors, so your child will look forward to putting on their hearing devices every morning.