Healthy Eating For Young Children

Encouraging children to eat a nutritious, balanced diet early on is important for a number of reasons. Ensuring they get the right vitamins and minerals in their diet will help them grow and develop optimally. They are also more likely to be energised and motivated, supporting their ability to learn. Educating them on healthy eating during childhood will also help them make healthier choices as they become adults.

Despite the obvious benefits, we recognise that there can be challenges when it comes to healthy eating for kids.

What does healthy eating mean for your child?

The term ‘healthy eating’ is very broad and encompasses a range of areas, including the following:

  • enjoying a varied diet
  • having a healthy relationship with food
  • following the Eatwell Guide
  • encouraging appropriate portion sizes.

Enjoying a varied diet

All foods contain different nutrients, vitamins and minerals. In order to get all the nutrients they need, it is important for children to have a varied diet containing lots of different foods. Aim for three balanced meals a day and up to two healthy snacks. Use different protein sources in each meal and different varieties of vegetables.

Having a healthy relationship with food

Ensuring children have a healthy relationship with food will establish a positive attitude to eating in the long-run. Try to teach them about food and nutrition (for example where their food comes from) and get them cooking early on. Kids at Big Foot Preschool have regular cookery lessons that are fun and exciting.

Following the Eat well Guide

Getting the right amount of food groups in their diet promotes health and well-being. The a Guide is a helpful starting point. At Big Foot Preschool, the children are educated on the portion sizes they should be eating for each food group.

Encouraging appropriate portion sizes

Get used to dishing up ‘me-sized plates’ instead of adult-sized plates as this can encourage overeating. Avoid forcing your child to clear their plate if they are not hungry.

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