Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizen. Healthy society of the future relies on the health of the children today. Growth and development, the vital phenomena of childhood have a very important role in determining the health of the children and thereby the society. The term growth is described as the increase in the physical size of the body whereas development refers to increase in skills and functions. Thus, growth and development can be understood as improvement in physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and motor aspects. Factors such as genetic inheritance, nutrition, physical surroundings, psychological factors, economic factors etc influence the growth and development of a child.
Nutrition, one among the influencing factors has a very important role before as well as after birth. Adequate nutrition supply to a pregnant is very essential for optimum growth and development of the foetus. Maternal malnutrition is directly responsible for low birth weight of newborns, leading to higher risk of mortality and morbidity. Adequate nourishment of the child during infancy to age of puberty is equally important for their optimum growth and development. Ayurveda, the ancient healing science, describes in detail regarding care of the pregnant as well as child. Use of various dravya (drugs) for promoting the health of both mother and the child are available in the classics. One such dravya, being used since ages in India, in the form of food as well as medicine is ghrita (Ghee).