A healthy and balanced diet is very important for children, as it will support their growth and development in their early years. Foods that keep your child full, give them energy, and support their overall wellbeing, will ensure your child experiences positive physical and mental development.
Most children will need three meals per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and up to three daily snacks between meals. Setting regular mealtimes will help your child prepare for meals and know what to expect at certain times of the day. Each individual meal should incorporate items from the following five food groups:
- Dairy: milk, yoghurt, cheese
- Protein: lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts
- Fibre: cereal, bread, wholegrains
To make mealtime exciting and enjoyable for your child, you might like to cut or mash food into edible shapes and textures. Teaching your children how to use cutlery, plates, cups and bowls will also help them enjoy mealtime independently.
It’s important to note that snacks should also be healthy, like the main meals. While there are many unhealthy and sugary snacks available in supermarkets, you should try to incorporate healthy snacking foods as much as possible. We recommend pieces of fruit, wholemeal biscuits or yoghurt as affordable, simple and healthy options.
To summarise this information, here are some of our key tips for good nutrition for your children:
- Incorporate foods from all five food groups
- Set regular mealtimes so your child doesn’t over-snack or go hungry
- Avoid using dessert as a bribe, as this may encourage unhealthy food associations
- Prioritise water over sugary beverages
- Let your children have treats, but in moderation
- Don’t forget protein and dairy products, as these promote growth and strength
- Involve your children in the cooking and meal preparation process, as this will help them develop healthy eating habits and learn how to be independent
Healthy eating outside the home.
When researching daycare centres for your children, you might also like to investigate their food options and meal programs. It’s important that your healthy eating practices at home are also being implemented at your child’s daycare centre. At Redlynch Daycare Centre, we offer nutritious meals that are prepared fresh every day. Our chef creates every meal on premises so the children in our care can have access to wholesome and delicious foods. Our chef makes a range of food items throughout the day:
- Morning tea
- Afternoon tea
If your child has special dietary requirements, including allergies and strong preferences, you can discuss this with one of our educators so we arrange a specially prepared meal for your child. We can also provide a more comprehensive list of the meals regularly made by our chef for your interest.
You can also read our other recent blog articles for more information about early learning and supporting the healthy development of your child. To learn more about Redlynch Childcare Centre or see if we have any vacancies, browse our website and contact our team today on (07) 4055 2020.