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© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Chapter 7: Protecting Good Nutrition in Early Childhood Education
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Nutrition Policies for Preventing Risk Early childhood education environments have difficulty achieving nutrition standards In the United States, more than 30% of children’s daily intake is made up of low nutrient density foods More than 10% of children ages 2 to 5 and 15% of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Nutrition Policies for Preventing Risk (continued) Risks include: –hunger –malnutrition –obesity –food allergies –lack of physical exercise –other nutritional challenges dental caries, cardiovascular disease, iron deficiency anemia
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Hunger and Malnutrition Hunger = chronic shortage of nutrients Food insecurity = not always having access Malnutrition = not receiving energy needed from food in the form of macronutrients
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Hunger and Malnutrition (continued) Hunger effects –Stunting/growth retardation –Impaired brain function –Vulnerability to infection and disease –Poor nutrition in the first three years of life can compromise a child’s mental development –Children with chronic health conditions may be more likely to be malnourished due to organic problems and eating
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Hunger and Malnutrition (continued) Teachers can provide regular exposure to nutritious foods and encourage children to choose a greater variety of those foods Parents and teachers may lack –knowledge of nutrition –time –ability to prepare nutritious meals Prevention strategies for malnutrition and under- nutrition include –nutrition education –a balanced diet with a selection of healthy foods –healthy food preparation methods
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Obesity Childhood obesity is now the most prevalent nutritional disease in children 18 years of age and younger Childhood obesity is measured by the body mass index (BMI), which compares weight to height –The Centers for Disease Control classifies children in the 95th percentile and higher as obese
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Obesity (continued) May be ethnically linked—higher ratio of obesity among –Hispanics –African Americans –Native Americans
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Obesity (continued) Some common reasons –dietary excess of fats and sugars –lack of exercise –too much TV –poor infant/child feeding practices –food as comfort –genetic predisposition
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Obesity (continued) The problem of childhood obesity can be improved by an increase in –physical activity –diet management –behavior modification Physical activity alone does not seem to be effective –Addition of diet and behavior modification contributes to successful weight loss in obese children
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Physical Activity and Exercise A new guideline was added in 2000 to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that reflects the fact that physical activity is needed to balance food intake Also made part of MyPyramid Food Guidance System
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Physical Activity and Exercise (continued) Time for physical activities and exercise is a necessary part of creating nutritional policies Kids Activity Pyramid University of Missouri Extension designed it –gives children activities that they should cut down on –activities they can do by themselves –activities to do with their friends and with family
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Physical Activity and Exercise (continued) Children need large or gross motor activities such as –running –throwing –catching –kicking –climbing –jumping
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Physical Activity and Exercise (continued) Children have at least one hour of unstructured active play in a day Toddlers should be provided with 30 minutes of structured play every day Preschoolers should have at least one hour of structured play that allows for movement and physical activity
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Reality Check—Television and Its Effects on Children’s Diet and Exercise Children watch as many as 200,000 food ads between 2 and 12 years of age Food advertised is not healthy –High sugar, high fat, empty calorie foods cereals, cookies, drinks –Ads for fast foods –Less than 5% of ads were for healthy foods
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Reality Check—Television and Its Effects on Children’s Diet and Exercise (continued) TV viewing discourages exercise—couch potatoes Some children eat in front of television –Many eat more than ¼ of their daily food intake sitting in front of a TV Food commercials encourage highly sugared and high-fat foods that are low in fiber Consumption of soft drinks has increased 500% due to TV ads Poor food choices shown on television shows
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Reality Check—Television and Its Effects on Children’s Diet and Exercise (continued) Teachers –promote good nutrition by helping children make healthier choices –can talk about misleading food ads –help children by helping them read labels and their own internal cues See Saturday Morning Food Pyramid, Figure 7-2
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Food Allergies Foods that commonly bring on allergies –milk –peanuts –tree nuts –wheat –eggs –fish –soybeans –shellfish
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Food Allergies (continued) The response to food allergies may be –skin rashes –difficulty breathing –gastrointestinal difficulties Food intolerance is an abnormal response to a food Allergy to a food response is triggered from the immune system and may cause a serious medical condition or may be life-threatening.
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Food Allergies (continued) An anaphylactic reaction may occur, and symptoms appear quickly and include –difficulty breathing –rapid heart beating –loss of consciousness –cardiac arrest Sixty-three percent of teachers may have a child with a food allergy in the early childhood education environment Teacher should have a Food Allergy Action Plan
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Reality Check—Peanut Allergy Important to child care for 3 reasons: –Most common food allergy (28% over 1 year, 46% under 1 year) –Child care often relies on peanut butter and peanut products as a cheap protein for snacks and lunches –Peanut allergy increasing in frequency Allergy to peanuts represents 28 percent of food allergies
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Reality Check—Peanut Allergy (continued) Symptoms are more severe than all other food allergies –more emergency rooms visits –more likely to cause death than many food allergies often unable to breathe
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Reality Check—Peanut Allergy (continued) Make sure parents are asked about this when entering child in child care Make a careful plan for preventing exposure Food Allergy Action Plan should be prepared for child who has allergy –Someone should be trained to use an epinephrine auto-injector like an EpiPen
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Other Childhood Nutritional Challenges Dental caries (cavities) –Foods high in carbohydrates and sugar promote formation of cavities –Increase in soft drink consumption Limit juice to 4 to 6 ounces per day –Fluoride is most effective way of preventing cavities –Brushing teeth after meals and not giving milk or juice in a bottle at bedtime
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Other Childhood Nutritional Challenges (continued) Dental caries (cavities) (continued) –Teachers can make sure that the early childhood education environment can provide foods that have plenty of protein calcium vitamins –Do not use sugary foods –Do not allow grazing
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Other Childhood Nutritional Challenges (continued) Cardiovascular disease and hypertension –Too many calories, too much fat, too much cholesterol can lead to development of coronary atherosclerosis or heart disease –Excess sodium and weight can lead to hypertension –Best way to improve risk is to modify child’s diet –Should eat diet high in carbohydrates
© 2007 by Thomson Delmar Learning Other Childhood Nutritional Challenges (continued) Iron deficiency anemia –Most prevalent nutritional problem in children in United States besides obesity –Children may have trouble concentrating, which may affect brain development –Diets need sufficient amounts of iron to prevent –Infants need vitamin supplements –Menus in early childhood education environments need to be checked for adequate iron
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