Tips to Promote Healthy Eating Habits in Child Care
As children grow, their food preference and eating habits changes. They develop their taste buds, and prefer eating what they like. It becomes tough for parents at home and teachers at child care center to convince them to eat healthy and nutritious food.
Promoting Healthy Eating in Child Care
We’ve come up with few healthy eating tips for child care providers to promote healthy attitude about food.
- Offer variety – It is absolutely normal for children to eat more than expected one day and almost nothing the next day. All you need to do is offer them variety. Your job is to give them healthy choices, it is up to them how much they want to eat; don’t worry, gradually they’ll began eating good quantity. Remember, healthy eating can’t be forced, it is learnt, and your job is to make them learn.
- Teach, don’t force – Preschoolers, usually insist on eating same thing every day. No matter what they say or want, you keep serving variety of healthy foods each day. They may eat only one thing they like every day. But with time, they will start eating the variety served in the plate.
- Avoid incentivizing – Both child care provider and parents should avoid bribing children for trying new foods. When you say “If you finish your lunch quickly, you’ll get dessert or cookies,” you are making the kids believe that new foods are undesirable.
- Serve child-size portions – Kids tend to waste some food, no matter what you serve them. However, serving child-size portion may help you cut down food wastage to a large extent.
- Don’t use food to punish or reward – If you tell kids that if they don’t do certain tasks properly they’ll not get food will make them anxious, thus causing overeating. If you reward them with chocolates or cookies, they’ll feel some foods are valuable than others.
- Introduce foods of different cultures – Encourage children to try healthy foods from different cultures by including the same in their meal plan.
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