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2  Describe why good nutrition is so important for young children.  Explain the components of a child care environment that promote healthy eating.  Describe the role of child care staff in helping shape children’s eating behaviors.  List some things staff can do in their classroom to help children develop healthy eating behaviors. OBJECTIVES

3  More than 1 in 4 preschoolers are overweight or obese  Being overweight is a risk to physical and mental health  Poor nutrition contributes to weight gain  Child care providers can help keep children healthy LET’S REVIEW

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

5 DISCUSSION What have you noticed about the eating habits of children in your program? Have they changed over time?

6 WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS?  Providers have an important influence on children’s development of early eating habits and attitudes.  Children look up to their teachers and often “model” their own eating habits based on watching others.  Providers can make changes to create a better “food environment” so it’s easier for children and staff to make healthier choices.

7 ROLE MODELING IS KEY  Interact with children during meal times.  Sit at the table and eat with the children.  Gently encourage (but don’t force) children to try bites of new or disliked foods.  Avoid using food as a reward.  Avoid eating unhealthy food in front of the children.  Keep your (negative) opinions to yourself.

8  A variety of fruits and vegetables give children the vitamins and minerals that keep them healthy and help them grow.  Fruits and vegetables are “nutrient dense” – lots of nutrients but few calories, unless too much butter, cheese, dressings or meat fats are added.  100% fruit and vegetable juices are less nutritious and filling than the whole fruits and vegetables themselves. FRUITS AND VEGGIES

9 MAKE EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FUN! How can you get kids to LOVE their fruits and vegetables (or at least try them)?  Serve them creatively.  Use vegetables that the kids have helped grow (try planting a few easy-to- grow vegetables in a small raised bed).  Let them help prepare them.  Have a tasting party for your senses.

10 MAKE EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FUN! How can you get kids to LOVE their fruits and vegetables (or at least try them)?   Make it a game! See how many colors you can eat in one meal.   Set a good example.   Incorporate them into lessons by trying fruits and vegetables from different places around the world.   Keep serving fruits and veggies until the kids are used to them

11  Most sausage, bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats have a lot of fat, sodium, and calories, so consuming too much can contribute to future health problems.  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.  Consider occasionally replacing meat with beans for a low fat option with lots of fiber and protein. MEATS AND FATS

12  What methods of cooking are the healthiest?  What other foods could you start serving as healthier alternatives to what you serve now?  What could make it hard to make these changes?  What are the benefits of making these changes? DISCUSSION

13  Fiber aids digestion and helps children feel full. Try and incorporate high-fiber whole grain foods at least once every day.  Sugary 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. GRAINS AND SUGARS

14  Don’t be fooled by “whole grain wanna-be’s”!  Multigrain  Wheat  Stoneground  Look for:  100% whole grain  A whole grain listed first in the ingredient list  Oats/Oatmeal, Whole Wheat, Whole Rye/Rye Berries, Brown Rice, Whole [name of grain] IDENTIFYING WHOLE GRAINS

15  Muffins  Frosted flakes  Breakfast cereal bar DISCUSSION How would you makeover these breakfast and snack items to incorporate whole grains?  Cookies  Pop-Tart  Chips

16  Water is the best choice for thirsty children. Model good habits for the children by choosing water first.  Soda and fruit drinks are full of sugar and “empty calories” (few nutrients, many calories).  Serving skim or 1% milk with meals and snacks provides calcium, vitamin D, and protein without many calories. BEVERAGES

17  Myth 1: Whole milk is best for all kids  Under age 1: breast milk or formula  Ages 1 to 2: Whole milk  Over age 2: skim or 1% milk  Myth 2: Juice is always the best option  Whole fruits have more nutrients  Under age 6: a maximum of 4-6 oz. per day of 100% juice  Not a good choice to quench thirst BEVERAGE MYTHS

18  Serving a variety of foods helps to meet a child’s nutrition needs.  Cycle menus of 3 weeks or longer may help provide variety.  Children may be more willing to try new foods when they are served with familiar foods.  Children may need to see a new food at least 10 times before they’ll actually try it. Don’t give up! MENUS AND VARIETY

19 FEEDING PRACTICES  Gently encourage, but don’t force children to try a bite of a new food.  A child never does a “bad” or good” job of eating  Forcing children to clean their plates can lead to overeating and weight problems.

20  Offer healthy foods to children and then let them decide if and how much to eat.  Make meal and snack time as stress free as possible and try to provide enough time to eat.  Avoid using food to reward good behavior or to make a child feel better about something. FEEDING PRACTICES

21 DISCUSSION These recommendations are great but how can we put them into practice? How can we help children avoid developing unhealthy habits?

22 Scenario #1: You notice that Jose is pushing his food around on his plate, but isn’t really eating anything. Scenario #2: Maya has already had 2 servings of bread and asks for another one. Scenario # 3: Steven quickly eats his French fries and asks for some more before having eaten any of the other food on his plate. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

23 FOODS OFFERED OUTSIDE OF REGULAR MEALS AND SNACKS  Ask parents to help celebrate birthdays, and holidays with healthier options than candy, cake, and ice cream. Healthier treats like fruit kabobs, yogurt popsicles, and low-fat, whole grain muffins are great alternatives.  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.

24 Scenario #4: It’s Jimmy’s birthday and his mom asks if she can bring in cupcakes. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

25 SUPPORTING HEALTHY EATING  If possible, serve meals family-style where teachers join the children at the table.  Teachers can show that healthy eating is fun by modeling healthy choices and helping to create a pleasant social environment around the table.

26  Soda machines and candy bowls in your facility send the message that these things are OK, and make it harder for staff and children to choose healthier options. SUPPORTING HEALTHY EATING

27 LET’S BRAINSTORM What are some ways we can model healthy eating during meal and snack times? Ideas?

28 PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: MY PLATE  ½ a Plate of Fruits & Vegetables  Serve Lean Proteins  Make at least half the grains you serve whole grains  Serve low-fat dairy or dairy alternatives  Sit down and enjoy food family-style

29  Guidelines may be confusing  Talk to your CACFP representative  A variety of foods meet guidelines, both healthy and unhealthy choices  NEW handbook for CACFP participating providers on creating a healthier environment: ionandwellness.html ionandwellness.html FOOD PROGRAM GUIDELINES

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

31 NUTRITION ACTIVITY Child care providers are role models for healthy habits. How can you be a good role model to the children you care for?

32  If children hear the same health messages from parents and from child care providers, they’re more likely to listen.  Use your toolkit!  There are several curricula available to help staff incorporate nutrition education into lesson plans.  Look for opportunities to provide nutrition education for staff and earn continuing education credits at the same time. NUTRITION EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN, PARENTS, AND STAFF

33  Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life Curriculum oad&uid=77960fa1-69ad-47c9-a54d-e98b95863ffa oad&uid=77960fa1-69ad-47c9-a54d-e98b95863ffa  Early Sprouts: Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children Curriculum  Color me Healthy Curriculum  Team Nutrition http://teamnutrition.usda.gov  Farm to Preschool  USDA’s MyPlate for Preschoolers  Exploring Food Together Toolkit CLASSROOM NUTRITION RESOURCES

34 What they can do  Measure, stir, beat  Peel, cut, grate  Hot vs. cold  Compare quantities  Set the table What they can learn  Fine motor skills  Follow directions  Observing  Enhance social skills  Sorting, classifying skills COOKING ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN Preschoolers can cook and learn!!

35 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. NUTRITION POLICY

36 Healthy  Baked, skinless chicken breast  Steamed carrots  Fresh strawberries  Whole wheat dinner roll  Skim milk Unhealthy  Chicken nuggets  Tator tots  Canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup  Slice of white bread  Whole milk HOW TO MAKE A HEALTHY LUNCH What is the difference?

37 What changes can you make in your classroom? Write down 3 things you can change to either help the children achieve one of the behaviors below or to work on one of the strategies listed. Eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day. Drink less sugar. Drink more water and low fat milk. n n Provide healthy choices for snacks and celebrations; limit unhealthy choices. n n Provide non-food rewards. NUTRITION ACTIVITY



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