One of the best things we can do for our country, and for developing our children is to upgrade our childcare system.
Are you working parents?
Do you leave your child in daycare?
For working parents, childcare is a fact of life. When parents choose people to care for children in their absence, what do they value?
The friendly and caring staff is no doubt the first priority. Moreover, a safe and fostering environment is also significant. Yet, for most parents, their children’s nutrition should also be a crucial requirement.
The quality of the food your child eats while in any daycare affects his short- and long-term health and well-being. The more time your little one spends in playschool or daycare; the more critical nutrition becomes. Anything less than a high standard for nutrition can set the stage for poor eating habits that your youngster may never outgrow.
Undoubtedly, parents strongly impact a child’s nutritional habits, but other caregivers also contribute to a youngster’s eating patterns. You may not know it, but your child models himself in part after his daycare providers.
Ensuring that your child’s diet away from home is healthy is vital for several reasons. Surveys show that preschoolers are eating increasingly unhealthily. The frequency of obesity in youngsters has doubled in the past few years.
Making the right choice of nutrition, and therefore daycare and preschool, is vital. The dietary requirements of toddlers and preschool children differ from those of older children. Preschool children are growing and are active, so their energy requirements are high relative to their body size. They require foods that combine high energy and nutrient density (particularly rich in protein, vitamin, and mineral content), eaten in small and frequent meals.
We are sharing some information about children’s needs and ideas to make them happy.
Children need three meals a day, and one to three instances of snacks (morning, afternoon and before bed). The best foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and meats; often home-cooked meals.
Sugar and sugar substitutes
Offer foods that don’t have added sugar or sugar substitutes. Limit refined sugars (sucrose, glucose-fructose, white sugar) honey, molasses, syrups, and brown sugar. They all have similar calorie counts and also contribute to tooth decay.
Sugar substitutes, such as aspartame and sucralose, meanwhile, do not add calories or cause tooth decay, but they are much sweeter than sugar and have no nutritional value. They may lead to a habit of only liking sugary foods and make it difficult for your child to adjust to fruits and vegetables. It’s a good idea to limit them in your child’s diet.
Juice and water
Offering fruit instead of fruit juice also adds healthy fiber to your child’s diet.
Serve vegetables and fruit more frequent than fruit juice. Offer water when your child is thirsty between meals and snacks. Limit juice to one serving.
How to balance fat?
Healthy fats contain needed fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 that cannot be made in the body and must come from the diet. Cook with vegetable oils such as canola, olive, and soybean.
Other Tips for parents:
- Set meal and snack times that suit the whole family. Share mealtimes and eat with your children.
- Offer a balance and variation of foods from all three food groups at meal times.
- Offer food in ways they can manage easily. For example, cut fruits into pieces, or mash food to prevent discomfort in younger children.
- Help your child learn to use a spoon or a cup so they can eat self-sufficiently.
- Include your child in age-appropriate food planning and table setting.
- Avoid using sweets to bribe. Serve healthy dessert choices, such as fruit cups or yogurt.
- Avoid fast food restaurants, to show your children the importance of enjoying mealtime as a family while eating healthy home-cooked meals.
It’s your child’s job to:
- Choose what to eat from the foods you provide at meal time and snack time (and sometimes that may mean not eating at all).
- Eat as much or as little as they want.
What if your kid is a picky eater?
Don’t feel bad if your child refuses a food product or meal. Try something else in between meals just so that they eat. They will eat better at the next meal.
Don’t worry too much if your child doesn’t eat properly. If their weight and size are normal, they are probably getting what they need. Simply make sure to offer your child a variety of foods from all food groups to make sure they get the right nutrients. Your child’s doctor will monitor their growth at regular appointments and will let you know if there are any problems.
Children’s appetites change from day-to-day, or even from meal to meal. Because they have small stomachs, children need to eat small portions frequently throughout the day. Children know how much food they need and will eat the amount that their body needs.
White Canvas Preschool contributes significantly to the nutritional intake and acquisition of dietary habits of children; our meal plans are supervised by trained staff. We are committed to working with parents, to provide nutritious food and developing good eating habits at home, and in our preschoolers and daycare.