Tips and tricks for encouraging healthy eating
At Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning & Childcare we believe that good eating habits are an essential part of ensuring that every child is happy and healthy.
Our early learning centres only offer meals and snacks that meet the Australian dietary guidelines and include a variety of food groups rich in carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fat ratios to provide children with all the energy they need for their specific age group. Our staff and educators also plan cooking experiences to teach children about healthy eating by allowing them to be involved in fun hands-on nutritional activities.
This is all well and good, but what can families do to keep up the good work at home? Everyone could use a bit of inspiration from time-to-time, particularly when your little one is going through one of those picky eating phases!
So here we have some quick tricks and tips for helping your family to make healthy choices at mealtimes, and to enjoy the benefits and the taste.
- Keep a bowl of fresh and easy to eat fruit within easy reach for peckish passers-by
- Choose a variety of colours and textures when buying fruit and veg, healthy doesn’t need to be boring
- Let your little one help with supervised food preparation, if they have been involved in the process they are more likely to try everything
- Talk about the food, how it is grown and why it is simply amazing
- Try to eat as a family whenever possible and always ensure a relaxed, unrushed and unpressured mealtime environment
- Be a role model, children learn from the best!
- Keep sweets, treats and unhealthy snacks out of sight and out of reach, or try not to buy any
- Remember that a child’s appetite is prone to fluctuate, try not to draw too much attention to picky eating days
- Praise your child when they are choosing and enjoying healthy choices, but do not scold them if they dislike something
- Don’t give up on foods because your child tries something once and decides they don’t like it, children’s tastes change constantly
- Don’t overcook veggies or serve tasteless mush… overcooking depletes the nutritional value, texture and taste
- Use small and colourful fruit as treats instead of sweets or chocolate. If a child gets a strawberry for being good, they will regard it as something special
- Grow fruit or veg in the garden. Like with food preparation, if a child has been involved in the process they will be more interested in the food
And remember, healthy food doesn’t mean boring food!