Acquiring healthy eating habits at a young age paves the way for a lifetime of smart choices! Healthy Toddlers Care provides lessons and tips that will help everyone in the family enjoy tasty, nutritionally balanced meals. As you know from our name, we are committed to providing healthy options of our children. Key among these is encouraging smart choices for food and beverages.
Why is this so important? Overweight and obese children are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea and childhood growth disorders. They are also at greater risk for the early onset of health problems typically found in adults—such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bone and joint problems and cardiovascular disease. Being overweight or obese can affect more than children’s physical health. Children who are severely obese are more likely to struggle academically and have behavioral issues at school. They are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, peer rejection, bullying, and depression.
Healthy eating can stabilize children’s energy, sharpen their minds, and even-out their moods. While peer pressure and TV commercials for junk food can make getting kids to eat well a challenge, there are steps we can take to instill healthy eating habits without turning mealtimes into a battle zone. By encouraging healthy eating habits now, we can make a huge impact on our children’s lifelong relationship with food and give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults.
We can’t over-emphasize the importance of healthy snacks and meals for you and your children. (Yes, we include you because you are the most significant role model your child has.)Breakfast is a very important meal and we ask that your child get some form of protein during breakfast.Fruit is also important as it is a complex carbohydrate and will last longer than the quick fix of pop tarts or other like items. We suggest eggs, whole grain breads or muffins, fruits, hot cereals, and yogurt as a good start to the day. These foods have “staying power” and your child will be happy to work all morning.
At Healthy Toddlers Care, our mealtime routines are the same for all children, but we appreciate that some children may have special dietary needs (physical, developmental, behavioral, emotional or religious) that restrict eating. Our meals and snacks take individual requirements into consideration.
The following list will help you better understand our nutritional goals:
You might make buckwheat pancakes or multigrain toast for breakfast; we might have a sandwich on wheat bread for lunch, or brown rice or another whole grain as part of a traditional hot lunch.
Milk and Dairy:
Milk, cheese, yogurt and milk pudding are all good choices.
We encourage your child to try a variety of proteins, such as turkey, eggs, fish, chicken, lamb, baked beans and lentils.
Steering our childrentowards a lifetime of healthy eating calls for a partnership between Healthy Toddlers Care and each of our families. Throughout the year we share information to support your family’s healthy habits.
Steps to Positive Eating Behaviors:
Provide a variety of foods at meals and snacks, especially whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Offer repeated opportunities to taste new foods.
Sit with children at meals, and enjoy conversation. Talk about the taste, texture, appearance, and the healthful aspects of foods.
Plan adequate time for all children to finish eating.
Respect a child’s expression of satiety or sense of being full.
Develop a routine for serving snacks, applying the same rules whether offering carrots, crackers, or cookies.
Wash hands before snack and mealtime; encourage touching and smelling a food as a step toward tasting.
Find alternatives to using food as a reward or serving foods high in fat, sugar, or salt as part of a celebration.