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Tips to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Preschoolers: Daycare Faculty’s Perspective

Tips to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Preschoolers Daycare Faculty's Perspective

If you are like most parents, your preschooler’s appetite can be a bit of a mystery. Eating too much or not enough for one day could make it difficult to know what is the best choice to feed them on any given day. Eating healthy can sometimes feel more difficult when we’re looking at our children. But thankfully there are many ways to encourage healthy habits in your child! Here are some ideas that may help:

Tips to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Preschoolers

Allow your child to eat according to their appetite

Eating should never be forced and food should never be used as a reward or punishment. Eating should always happen at mealtime with table manners expected from everyone eating together. Mealtimes will also teach kids how much they need when they grow up when they are making decisions about what to eat.

– Eating according to their appetite will encourage a child’s natural hunger and fullness signals which should help them know when it is time for more or less food.

– Eating healthy, nutritious foods will also help your children grow up with the best possible eating habits that can last through adulthood.

Healthy snack suggestions

Eating healthy snacks in between meals is a great way to avoid overeating at mealtime. Snacks should be small and nutritious, like fresh fruit or vegetables with hummus dip; cheese cubes; peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers; cut-up raw veggies with ranch dressing made from low-fat mayo and nonfat yogurt mixed.

Treats are best kept for special occasions.

Eating too many sweets can lead to tooth decay, weight gain, and cavities. So it’s important to balance healthy snacks with treats like a piece of fruit or frozen yogurt-dipped popsicle on occasion!

If you want to avoid excessive weight gain, the best approach is to:

  • Consult with your doctor on what physical activity and/or diet is best for your preschooler.
  • Develop healthy eating habits throughout the family.
  • Encourage kids to get plenty of exercises.
  • Limit the time spent watching television.

Encourage physical activity

Physical activity is important for all, there is no exception for preschoolers. Eating well and getting exercise are both essential to a healthy lifestyle to grow up strong and fit. Here are few tips for preschoolers to encourage their physical activity:

  • Watch less television.
  • Play games in the garden.
  • Go for a walk to the park or playground.
  • Teach your child to swim.
  • Participate in kindergarten and school activities.
  • Be involved in regular, fun activities with your children.

Healthy drinks

Water is best for young children and should be offered at every meal. Milk, juice, or other healthy drinks are also a good choice to keep kids hydrated but they should not replace water.

Food tips for growing children

  • Offer a variety of different foods daily and be sure to offer freshly cooked vegetables.
  • Encourage healthy eating for everyone in the family.
  • Let your child decide if they are full or hungry.
  • Offer healthy snacks between meals.
  • Involve children in meal preparation.
  • Encourage your child to take water rather than sweet drinks.
  • Enjoy family mealtimes and activities together.

Please remember that your children can decide how much food they need for activity and growth if allowed to eat according to their appetite. Children are growing, so they need a high amount of energy and nutrient. Strict or low-fat diets are not recommended for children. High energy treats are best kept for special occasions and are not recommended for everyday lunch boxes. Reduce screen time and encourage the active play of outdoor games.

We understand that as a parent, you want the best for your child. You’ve entrusted us with their care and we are committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and welcoming environment which facilitates the healthy growth and development of the “WHOLE” child. At The Champions Academy Day Care Center in Edmonton, our mission is not just about childcare – it’s about helping each individual reach their potential by focusing on 4 Core areas – Mind, Body Soul & Personality. Contact us at 587-454-5505 if you would like more information or have any questions!

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