The first few years of a child’s life are their most impressionable and formative ones. For children, education in all its forms needs to start early. Kids first learn to walk and talk, then slowly become a little more independent. From birth up to school age, what children learn during this period can often stay with them for life, so when it comes to learning about food and healthy eating, this should begin at a very young age as well.
It Starts In the Home
We all know most kids just want to eat whatever tastes good to them at the time. We’ve all seen those children’s menus in restaurants, comprised of things like chicken nuggets and fries. If kids were responsible for feeding themselves and making their own food choices, more often than not they’d choose junk food over a healthy diet.
While it can often be an ongoing struggle to get kids to eat the right foods, such as vegetables, it still needs to be done insistently.
Most things children learn early on start in the home environment and learning about healthy eating is no exception. Get kids involved in preparing and making food and explaining to them how different foods are good for them, which ones give them energy, how proteins help to build muscle and strength so they can play their favorite sport. Other foods are good for the brain, so one way to get kids to take an interest in brain food is to explain how it’ll help them think better, even if it’s when they’re playing video games.
The more children can relate certain foods to a particular result, the better they’ll understand nutrition and the more motivated they’ll be to eat right. For every child, food is a part of everyday life, so the sooner they focus on the right foods, the better.
It’s not all about food either when it comes to good nutrition. What children drink is just as important. Many so-called healthy juices and drinks you find in the supermarket aren’t actually that nutritious, as they are laden with sugars or artificial sweeteners (neither of which are healthy). Squeezing fresh juice at home is always the best option.
Child Care Centers and Learning About Healthy Eating Habits
Centers for child care and early learning will often place a heavy focus on providing highly-nutritious meals and a quality food program for daycare.
Early learning centers exist to help prepare children for school life as well as teaching them the basics regarding nutrition and eating a healthy diet. Positive eating habits are encouraged and implemented and some of the centers even have qualified chefs on staff to prepare the meals for the kids. One huge advantage of employing a chef is they are adept at preparing healthy foods that’ll appeal to the taste buds of young children.
There are even programs where kids get to grow their own food at the early learning center. Vegetable gardens are on-site, where children get to plant all different types of vegetables and nurture them until they are ready for harvest. The chef will then use those vegetables to create the children’s meals.
This is a fantastic way to teach children more about nutrition and a healthy diet. It’s a hands-on approach that truly gets them involved in the entire process, from planting the seeds to enjoying the fruit and vegetables when ripe. It’s a unique paddock to plate experience for them and something they’ll always be aware of later on in life.
Apart from having the kids grow fruit and vegetables on-site, early learning centers also order in the freshest organic produce for all prepared meals. As a parent, you’ll be assured your child is eating a very healthy diet while in the care of the center. All food is certified free-range, organic and hormone and pesticide-free.
So, at an early learning center, your children will get a head start in knowledge of healthy eating habits, as well as being prepared to be school-ready. The basics of rudimentary subjects are covered so children enter their school years armed with more confidence and the knowledge to give them a head-start.