Tips to Pick A Colorful and Nourishing Diet for Kids in Child Care
Child Care Providers play an important role in preventing obesity among young kids by adding healthy and nourishing food items in their meal plan. The food served in the child care center not only affect kid’s health, it even impact their future eating habits.
Child Care Nutrition Guidelines
The below child care nutrition guidelines can help you create a meal plan for kids that can serve the varying nutritional requirements of all children in the child care program.
- Colors and Shapes Attract Kids – Children love colorful foods more. Include a variety of colors and types of vegetables in their meal. Serve dark green vegetables (lettuce, broccoli & spinach), starchy vegetables (potatoes, peppers & corns), yellow and orange veggies (carrots, orange & yellow peppers, pumpkins) etc. You can give them these alternate day; don’t serve same food every day.
- Make it a ‘whole’ meal, truly! You can consider including whole-grain foods like oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat bread etc. in their meal plan.
- Serve a fruit platter – Whole fruit is always healthier than fruit juices, so consider giving whole fruits on several occasions. On some days when you plan to serve fruit juice, make sure it is 100% fresh and pure; no preservatives added. While we recommend fresh fruits, sometimes even frozen fruit works.
- Add Calcium in diet – Milk and milk-products like yogurt and cottage cheese or plain cheese are a great source of calcium. Kids between 2-6 years should have one glass of milk everyday. Those ranging from 1-2 years should be given full-fat milk. Children aging 2 or more should be given fat-free milk.
- Give Lean Protein – Lean meat, fish and poultry are great source of lean protein. If you don’t want to serve lean meat, the best alternatives are nuts, peas and dry beans. However, ensure your kids are not allergic to nuts.
For kids to adapt the healthy eating habits, you should know the importance of nutrition for children, and serve the required nutrients to them. Follow the above recommendations and make children healthy.
Parents are often concerned about the food being served to their kids in the child care center. They are worried about the quality and quantity of food. It becomes tough for child care providers to convey daily meal menu to all parents.
With Happy Feet – a comprehensive child care management app, you can now provide calendar view of food menu and timely feeding report to parents in one go. Liked this feature? Want it for your care center? Contact us!
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