health eating nutrition kids
Promoting Healthy Eating and Nutrition for Kids, Part 1
June 9, 2020
child hydration habits promotion
Child Hydration Habits and Promotion, Part 1
August 11, 2020

Promoting Healthy Eating and Nutrition for Kids, Part 2

health eating nutrition kids

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the most important themes when it comes to healthy eating and nutrition for kids. These habits, often taught early in life, tend to play a major role in everything from physical development to long-term health in children as they age.

At Smart Kids Development Center, all our child care services – from preschool to daycare, after school care and summer camp programs – involve professionals who understand healthy nutrition for children. Our programs feature healthy and nutritious foods in situations where we are providing food to your children. In today’s part two, we’ll dig into several specific foods and groups for parents and others caring for children to promote, plus some themes that often assist with strong nutrition and healthy eating.

Foods to Promote

It’s vital for parents and child care professionals to stock and promote healthy and nutritious foods, both for meals and snack periods. Here are some themes to keep in mind:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Wherever possible, try to infuse fruits and vegetables into the daily nutrition routine. If possible, at least five servings a day should be eaten by children, and they should consume some of each at every major meal.
  • Protein: Keep and serve various lean meats, fish eggs, beans and nuts to ensure children get enough protein.
  • Whole grains: Choose whole-grain options for items like breads and cereals, helping with fiber content.
  • Snacks: Keep healthy snacks, such as fruits and vegetables, readily available and easy to access. Also consider other health snacks like whole-grain crackers with cheese, low fat yogurt or others.
  • Areas to limit: Try to limit things like fat (excess fried foods and fatty products), sugar (soda, fruity drinks and various candies) and low-nutrient areas like fast food, salty chips and the like. You should not remove these entirely, but rather keep them as occasional treats.

Control and Independence

It’s important to maintain a balance in terms of kids making their own dietary choices versus those pushed on them by parents and others. Parents control the foods available and the schedule for eating – they should establish a regular and predictable schedule for kids, one that includes themes like eating only until they’re full and not being wasteful.

In addition, look at the methods you use for any disagreements or concerns from your child regarding eating habits. Never use food as a bribe or a reward, particularly food with poor nutrition you don’t want to promote.

Fruit and Veggie Alternatives

One great alternative for parents or others struggling to get kids to eat their daily amount of fruits or vegetables: Consider giving them in smoothie format where they can be drunk rather than eaten. Many kids won’t even realize there are fruits or veggies involved, only noticing the delicious snack – but one that’s packed with vitamins and minerals important for their development.

For more on promoting healthy nutrition for children, or to learn about any of our child care programs, speak to the staff at Smart Kids Development Center today.