Importance of Nutrition and Eye Care for Kids during the Pandemic and increased Online classes
Authored by: Dr.Anitha C Kamarthy, M.S. Sr. Cataract & Glaucoma Surgeon, MaxiVision Super Specialty Eye Hospital, Hyderabad
National Nutrition Week (NNW) is being celebrated from the 1st to the 7th of September. It is organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India’s Food and Nutrition Board. This week observed every year honors the importance and the role that nutrition plays for the wellbeing of a healthy human body. Nutrition for health is embodied in a well-balanced diet with essential nutrients and calories required for the body to function at an optimal rate. A well planned and perfect diet will support the growth and repair of the body. The aim of celebrating this week is to create awareness about nutrition and its importance on the health of all, the lack of which can negatively affect productivity, development along with impacting economic growth and national development.
Hon’ble PM Mr.Modi calls for Nutrition month:
Healthy and robust food plays vital role for speedy recovery of COVID19 patients. WHO issued guidelines to all the Governments across the globe on the importance of nutritious food to be given to the patients apart from regular medication. Hon’ble PM Mr.Modi calls for September as a month dedicated to creating awareness on the of Nutrition and its importance.
Nutrition & Eye Care:
COVID19 Pandemic made everything go online i.e online Schooling, Competitive exams, companies work, Virtual meetings, etc. Now the use of electronic gadgets likes Mobile Phones, Computers etc are not limited to IT employees but to everyone. Student to Teacher, Politician – Party workers, Boss, and Employee all are dependent on electronic gadgets and spending a lot of time before the screen. Extensive use of these electronic gadgets will result in eye strain if proper food is not taken.
Students and Online schooling:
Being parents of children you need to provide kids with a holistic, balanced diet that has all the required calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and alternative nutrients. It is always necessary to have 3 timely spaced small meals spread over the day consisting of 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12% from proteins, and 20- 25% of total calories from fats. Special attention to be given to vitamin-C (so lots of citrus fruits & juices to build immunity) and vitamin-D.As the child is mainly restricted to indoors with minimal exposure to sunlight, weekly vitamin-D supplementation has been shown as safe and effective against acute respiratory tract infections. Thus, during this global pandemic, we should consider taking Vitamin D supplements to maintain the circulating 25 (OH)D in the optimal (75 -125mmol /L) for online .Long hours in front of the computer for online classes causes computer vision syndrome (which comprises of eye strain, headaches, ocular discomfort, dry eye, double vision, and blurred vision) This can be overcome with a simple 20-20-20 RULE That is view an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes & blink intentionally a couple of times. Any refractive error has to be examined and corrected. A good lubricating eye drop also helps. Long hours of sitting are linked to posture-related problems and obesity. Proper body positioning for computer use is important. Optimally, the computer screen should be 25-20 degrees below eye level (about 4 to 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and does 28 Metres from the eyes. Relevant material should be located above the keyboard and below the monitor. Position the computer screen so as to avoid glare. Anti-glare screens can be used. Chairs should be comfortably padded and feet should rest flat on the ground while sitting. The chair should also have armrests. It is advisable to make them do neck & shoulder exercises every 2 hours and also incorporate spot jogging. These can be easily picked up once it forms a routine. The last but not the least is mental health. Humans have a profound need to connect with others and gain acceptance into social groups. People suffer when relationships deteriorate and social bonds are severed. We need to make sure they have no dysfunctional social behaviour causing depression or rarely aggression. So keep a tab on their activities and be responsive to their needs not desires. Do yoga and meditation together to help them bond and have a sense of belonging. The pandemic is here to stay for some time- make the most of it by spending time with them and including them in your daily activities.