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Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young Children.

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Presentation on theme: "Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young Children

2 Objectives At the end of this workshop participants will be able to… n Describe why good nutrition is so important to young children. n Explain in detail the components of a child care environment that promote healthy eating. n Describe the role of child care staff in helping shape children’s eating behaviors. n List some things staff can do in their classroom to help children develop healthy eating behaviors.

3 Let’s Review nMore than 1 in 4 preschoolers are overweight or obese nBeing overweight is a risk to physical and mental health nPoor nutrition contributes to weight gain nChild care providers can help keep children healthy

4 Nutrition n Young children need to eat nutritious foods because their bodies are growing rapidly. n Children may receive between 50% and 75% of their daily calories at the child care facility or school setting. n Children learn healthy (or unhealthy) eating habits at a very young age.

5 Discussion n n What have you noticed about the eating habits of children in your school or center? Have they changed over time?

6 What does all this mean for Child Care Providers? n Providers have an important influence on children’s eating habits:  The development of early eating habits and attitudes n Children look up to their teachers and often “model” their own eating habits based on watching others. n Providers can make changes to create a better “food environment” so it’s easier for children and staff to make healthier choices.

7 Fruits and Vegetables n A variety of fruits and vegetables give children vitamins and minerals that keep them healthy and help them grow. n Fruits and vegetables are “nutrient dense” – lots of nutrients but few calories, unless too much butter, cheese, or meat fat is added. n 100% fruit and vegetable juices are good but less nutritious and filling than the foods themselves.

8 Make eating fruits and vegetables fun! Ways to get kids to LOVE their fruits and vegetables (or at least try them!)… n Serve them creatively. n Have a party for your senses. n Incorporate them into lessons by trying fruits and vegetables from different places around the world. n Set a good example.

9 Meats and Fats n Most sausage, bacon, and hot dogs have a lot of fat, sodium, and calories, so consuming too much can lead to future health problems.  Look for lower fat baked options and serve the high fat versions less often. n French fries and chicken nuggets are also high in saturated fat and calories.  Kids will also enjoy lower fat foods like baked potatoes and baked chicken. n Consider occasionally replacing meat with beans for a low fat option with lots of fiber and protein.

10 Grains and Sugars nFiber aids digestion and helps children feel full. Try and incorporate high-fiber whole grain foods at least once every day. nSugary and salty foods have a lot of “empty” calories—they are often high in fat and calories but have little nutritional value. Serve these only occasionally.

11 Discussion nMuffins nFrosted flakes nBreakfast cereal bar nCookies nPoptart nChips How would you makeover these breakfast and snack items to incorporate whole grains?

12 Beverages nWater is the best choice for thirsty children. Model good habits for the children by choosing water first. nSoda and fruit drinks are full of sugar and “empty calories” (few nutrients, many calories). nServing low fat milk with meals and snacks provides calcium but doesn’t add many calories.

13 Beverage Myths Beverage Myths n Myth 1: Whole milk is best for all kids n Under 1: breast milk or formula n 1 to 2: Whole milk n Over 2: 1% or skim milk n Myth 2: Juice is always the best option n Whole fruits have more nutrients n Under 6: 4-6 oz. a day of 100% juice n Not a good choice to quench thirst

14 Menus and Variety n Serving a variety of foods helps to meet a child’s nutrition needs. n Cycle menus of 3 weeks or longer may help provide variety. n Children may need to see a new food at least 10 times before they’ll actually try it. Don’t give up! n Including food in your menus from a variety of cultures can make meals more fun and interesting for children.

15 Feeding Practices n Gently encourage, but don’t force children to try a bite of a new food. n Forcing children to clean their plates can lead to overeating and weight problems. n Offer healthy foods to children and then let them decide if and how much to eat.

16 Feeding Practices n Make meal and snack time as stress free as possible and try to provide enough time to eat. n Try to avoid using food to reward good behavior or make a child feel better about something.

17 Discussion These recommendations are great but how can we put them into practice? Let’s go over some possible scenarios. How can we help children avoid developing unhealthy habits?

18 Foods Offered Outside of Regular Meals and Snacks n Ask parents to help celebrate birthdays, and holidays with healthier options than candy, cake, and ice cream. Healthier sweets like fruit, popsicles, and low-fat muffins are great alternatives. n If your facility has fundraisers, consider campaigns that involve healthier foods or non-food items. This sends a message that you care about good health.

19 Supporting Healthy Eating n If possible, serve meals family-style where teachers join the children at the table. n Teachers can show that healthy eating is fun by modeling healthy choices and helping to create a pleasant social environment around the table. n Soda machines in your facility send the message that soda is OK, and make it harder for staff and children to choose healthier options

20 Things to Remember n Children will eat! n They are capable of regulating their food intake. n They generally react negatively to new foods, but will usually accept them with time and experience. n Caregivers can either support or disrupt children’s food acceptance and regulation.

21 Nutrition Activity Child care providers are role models for healthy eating. How can you be a good role model for the children?

22 Nutrition Education for Staff, Children, and Parents n If children hear the same health messages from parents and from child care providers, they’re more likely to listen. n There are several curricula available to help staff incorporate nutrition education into lesson plans n Look for opportunities to provide nutrition education for staff and earn continuing education credits at the same time.

23 Nutrition education activities for children What they can do n Measure, stir, beat n Peel, cut, grate n Hot vs. cold n Compare quantities n Set the table What they can learn n Fine motor skills n Follow directions n Observing n Enhance social skills n Sorting, classifying skills Preschoolers can cook and learn!!

24 Nutrition Policy n A written policy on food and nutrition: n Tells parents and staff that these are important issues and that you care about the health of the children in your facility. n Helps guide decisions and choices your facility makes every day. n Makes it easier to explain your approach to parents and staff.

25 nGuidelines may be confusing nTalk to your CACFP representative nA variety of foods meet guidelines, both healthy and unhealthy choices Food Program guidelines

26 How to Make a Healthy Lunch Healthy n Baked, skinless chicken breast n Steamed carrots n Fresh strawberries n Whole wheat dinner roll n Skim milk Unhealthy n Chicken nuggets n Tator tots n Canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup n Slice of white bread n Whole milk What is the difference?

27 Nutrition Activity What changes can you make in your classroom?


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