If there’s one thing we have noticed at our day care centres in Perth, it’s that children seem to be hungry all of the time. There is rational scientific explanation for this: they are hungry a lot more than adults. Children combine high energy requirements with small stomachs. The only way for them to eat as many kilojoules as they burn when being active is to eat more often.
In addition, a child going through a growth spurt needs more kilojoules than usual, because the food will be turned into human cells. Snacks help “tide your child over” until the next meal and are an essential part of childhood. However, there is a dark side to this. If you allow your child to eat unhealthy snacks as a habit, those habits can stick with them for the rest of their lives, producing issues such as obesity and diabetes later in life.
Keeping It Healthy
Try to keep snacks on the food pyramid. Your child especially needs healthy protein and carbohydrates in a reasonable ratio. Foods that contain a lot of vitamins A and C are important, too. The food pyramid includes rice, pasta, bread and cereal as well as fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy. While there are a lot of unhealthy foods, there are plenty of healthy options here.
Cereal with low amounts of sugar and high fibre are a great source of energy. Small sandwiches on whole grain breads can combine grains, vegetables, dairy and meat. Since everyone should have five servings a day of fruit and vegetables, both are great choices for snacks. We prefer pairing cheese with fruit. Larger fruits can be sliced into child-sized pieces for easy eating and to prevent choking.
Making healthy choices for your child now can start healthy habits that they keep for the rest of their lives.
Contact Cuddles Childcare Centres with questions or to enquire about child care.