08 Apr Healthy Eating: Helping your child grow and blossom
At Daisy Chain Childcare we take children’s diet seriously. The food a child takes in affects the way they learn and how healthy they become. The food at Daisy Chain is made fresh on the premises and from only the freshest ingredients. Our 5-week menu is planned using the Children’s Food Trust guidance to ensure that the menus we provide meet the nutritional requirements of all children under 5 years. We also adhere to the new allergen requirements which are displayed with our menus and are published by the Food Standards Agency.
Where to start… Ten Easy Steps
At Daisy Chain, as well as providing healthy meals and snacks we also follow the Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers. This is guidance published by the infant toddler forum in collaboration with the National Day Nursery Association, British Dental Health Foundation, Pre-school Learning Alliance, National Obesity Forum and the Child Growth Foundation. Below are 10 easy steps you can follow at home.
Eat together as a family and make mealtimes relaxed, happy occasions. Make food easy to eat – finger foods are good. Eat the foods that you would like your toddler to eat. Praise your toddler when he or she eats well or tries something new – toddlers take time to learn to like new foods.
You decide which nutritious foods to offer but let your toddler decide how much to eat. Never insist your toddler eats everything on his or her plate.
Offer foods from all 5 food groups each day. Together they give the right mix of nutrients your toddler needs.
Have a routine and offer 3 meals and 2–3 snacks each day. Offer 2 courses at each meal and only offer nutritious snacks. Don’t allow grazing on food.
Offer 6-8 drinks a day. Give all drinks in a beaker or cup – not bottles. 3–4 oz or 100–120ml is about right. Water is a good choice.
Give vitamins A & D each day. Choose a vitamin supplement suitable for toddlers – most toddlers don’t get enough in their food.
Respect your toddler’s tastes and preferences – don’t force feed. Understand that some children eat almost everything while others are much pickier. Some like foods kept separate at a meal and others are happy with foods mixed in together.
Reward your toddler with your attention – never give food or drink as a reward, treat or for comfort. Play, read or talk with your toddler as a reward. Always give fruit or a nutritious pudding – don’t use it as a reward for eating other foods first or for good behaviour.
Fried food, crisps, packet snacks, pastries, cakes and biscuits to very small amounts. Sweet foods to four times a day e.g. as part of the three meals and one snack.
… and avoid:
• Sweetened fruit squashes, fizzy drinks, tea and coffee.
• Undiluted fruit juices – only give juice well diluted at meal times.
• Whole nuts, which may cause choking or be inhaled.
Encourage physical activity for at least 3 hours every day and about 12 hours sleep. All activity such as active play inside or outside, walking, running and dancing counts. Limit TV and other screen time like computers to just 1 hour a day.