One important concept that we have witnessed firsthand at our child care centres in the Perth area is the effect of healthy nutrition on children. Getting children to eat well can be a constant challenge because the foods they like the most are laden with sugar and fat. The concept of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein is difficult to teach a child, especially when they see another child eating sugary foods that are marketed to children.
Here are some benefits and guidelines.
Lunch may represent as much as a third of your child’s food intake in any given day. If the lunch is a nutritious one, they are going to receive a lot of their daily requirements for key nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Children whose lunches are nutritious take in more key nutrients for the day.
A good lunch should provide your child with at least a third of the daily requirement of protein, vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Limits Saturated Fat
Children should never get more than 35% of their daily caloric intake from fat and even 25% can be pushing it. Most of all, the fat they do eat should be unsaturated whenever possible. A healthy diet that replaces unhealthy staples such as pizza, cookies and cake with healthy foods such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils helps limit total fat and replaces “bad” fat with “good” fat.
Healthy lunches help prevent childhood obesity, especially if the child is encouraged to eat this way the entire day. There is less net fat and less net sugar, while the kinds of fat and sugar are healthier.
Boosts Grades and Energy
Children with unhealthy diets often don’t have the energy to concentrate in school, resulting in below standard grades. Get your child started early and you are setting them up for success.
Contact any Cuddles Childcare Centre for more information.