Food glorious food at St Christopher’s Nursery
Children and young people need the right balance of food and nutrients to develop and grow. Healthy eating is about getting that balance right in order to provide enough of the important nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals and protein) and fibre without too much fat (especially saturated fat), sugar and salt. The ‘eat well’ plate shows the types and proportions of foods needed to make up a well-balanced, healthy diet. The ‘eat well’ plate is introduced to all the children in our setting. The children are made aware of the benefits from eating a balanced diet.
One of the things we focus on here at St Christopher’s, is childhood nutrition. Developing healthy eating habits in the early years provides not only a strong foundation for children, but for the entire household, neighbourhood and community as initiatives reverberate from home-to-home and school-to-school.
5 Ways we can ensure that Children develop healthy eating habits
1. Make Them a Part of the Seed-to-Table Process
Children want is to feel that they are a part of something important, to feel that they are contributing. When their level of involvement in their own dietary consumption is to do nothing but sit at the table and consume it is no wonder that they are less enthused about nutrition. However, when they become a part of the genesis of the process they become more invested in the whole. So, how can you as a parent make this happen? It’s easier than you may think. Why not get involved with your child in a local community garden, or organise one if it does not already exist. If you have a garden, patio or even a balcony you can start a seasonal garden of your own. Teach your child how to grow organic vegetables with their capable hands and you’ll quickly see them swell with pride as the plants grow to maturity. They will not only get excited about eating the fruits (and veggies) of their own labour, they will have developed an appreciation for the process and become more interested in nutrition. At that point you can help them learn about seed preservation methods and other aspects of the self-sustaining farming concept.
2. Encouraging Healthy Eating at home and school
You may have instilled a sense of pride in your child’s nutrition while they are home but when they leave for the day they are exposed to outside dietary influences. For six and a half hours a day, five days a week, they will be having their snacks and lunches at school. You will want to do all that you can to ensure they have access to the most nutritious food possible. If you do pack a lunch for your child resist the urge to opt for convenient processed pre-packaged meals. A little planning can go along way for the busiest of households so prepare healthy lunches well in advance so that you are not scrambling for options in the morning rush at home.
3. Reducing the sugar content in our drinks
We avoid introducing sodas and sugar powered drink mixes in a child’s diet. While a household that grows up drinking clean filtered water is one that enjoys a long healthy life together. Juices of course can provide a rich delivery of flavourful vitamins and minerals if they are all-natural and 100% fruit/vegetable derived.
4. Being a role model
We practice what we preach. We communicate to the children the importance of a healthy diet all day but it will go in one ear and out the other if they don’t see us living the healthy lifestyle that we are attempting to bestow upon them. Telling children to obey dietary direction is a short term solution, but leading by example develops an inherent call to live a healthy lifestyle from early youth to adolescence and beyond.
5. Most of All, Making eating FUN!
Kids cannot get behind a concept when it’s boring. Who can blame them? “Eat your vegetables” has a negative connotation for many because it incites images of sitting with arms crossed at the table in defiance of a mound of broccoli and Brussel sprouts. It’s time to forever alter this perception of healthy eating by nipping it in the bud early in life. Getting children involved with gardening is a big step in that direction, but also getting them interested in fun yet educational TV shows and books on the concept, such as the Plant a Seed & See What Grows children’s book, will go a long way.
At St Christopher’s Nursery, lunch is generally provided by our parents, however, you can opt for your child to have a hot meal. This is provided by a catering company called ‘The pantry’. Please see the link below for more details-
https://www.thepantrycatering.co.uk/ further information can be provided by our school secretary.