At Koru Kids Early Learning Centre, we take nutrition very seriously. We believe that every South Auckland child needs the best nutrition possible, as it plays a vital role in their learning and development.
As such, we offer a mix of guided lunchbox days during the week with nutritious meals provided by our internal cook and nutritionist.
However, there’s only so much we can do at school. The rest has to happen at home. Here are some tips to ensure that your child gets good nutrition at home so that we can work together to ensure your child has the best chance at healthy development.
Let Your Child’s Appetite Be A Guide
Just as you know when you’re hungry or when you’ve had enough to eat, so too does a child. Generally speaking, children can instinctively determine how much food they need for the activities they want to do and for the fuel their growing bodies require.
It is widely recommended that you don’t force a child to ‘clean their plate’ or offer rewards for doing so as it could lead to overeating later in life. While children should be encouraged to eat, they should not be forced to.
Just like you need that mid-morning pick-me-up, so too does your child. Unhealthy snacking, however, can be a bigger contributor to weight gain and poor health than main meals.
In modern society, we tend to rely on cheap, unhealthy snacks that are filled with sodium and sugar. We don’t get all the nutrients we need. Instead, we just pick up weight and become lethargic.
Encourage your child to snack on healthy things like yoghurt and cheese, or perhaps fresh or even dry fruits. Fresh vegetables along with a yummy dip is also a great snack idea.
Make Treats Special
While a healthy diet is recommended, it shouldn’t be overly strict. Young children are still developing and need loads of energy. Strict diets can potentially do more harm than good in the long term by negatively impacting a child’s relationship with food.
The trick is to dole out choccies, cake and other goodies sparingly and to use them to mark special occasions. Not only will this be healthier for your child but it will also teach them to appreciate their treats more. By encouraging this mindset, children are taught self control.
At our centre, we offer scrumptious, healthy foods. Contact us today for more information on our early learning centre in South Auckland, where we believe that good nutrition is essential to healthy development!