Child nutrition is an important consideration for providers because often they are providing at least two meals per day and in some cases up to three meals. It can also be challenging to provide nutritious meals for all the children in your care. Here are four simple tips to make sure all the children in your care are getting the right nutrition.
Include fruits and vegetables in every meal.
Fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals that help support a healthy immune system. They’re also low in calories, positively impact blood sugar levels, and are a healthy way to control appetite. The more fruits and vegetables children are exposed to at a young age, the more likely they are to enjoy them as they get older. Make sure to offer fruits and veggies as snacks between meals as well as during mealtimes.
Provide water throughout the day.
Water is the perfect drink for children because it helps keep them hydrated and provides nutrients like potassium and magnesium. It’s also free of calories and sugar, making it a great option for kids. For those children who do not like to drink water, consider infusing water with various fruits and vegetables such as cucumber, strawberries, or lemon.
Serve whole-grain bread and cereals.
Whole grains provide more fiber than refined grains, so they help fill up your child without adding excess sugar and calories. They also contain vitamins and minerals that are good for growing bodies. Try serving whole wheat bread with peanut butter or oatmeal with raisins. There are whole grain options for just about anything you are looking for. It may take a few extra minutes at the grocery store looking at labels, but it is worth children’s health and nutrition.
It’s important to offer variety when feeding children. This will keep them interested and prevent boredom. You should try to serve at least three different foods every week. Making mealtime and snack time fun is a great way to introduce children to healthy eating.
For more information on child nutrition check out H&H Child Care Training Center’s course On My Plate: Children's Nutrition.