One of the things parents have to consider when choosing a child care centre is the food menu. Are they using healthy, various ingredients and cooked with a healthy method that preserves the nutrients? To thrive physically and mentally, children need the help of adults to provide the right food for them. Let’s look deeper into how nutrition impacts children.
For their body to grow strong and live long
Children’s body does a lot of physical work – running, balancing, climbing, bouncing, digging, everything. Proper nutrition lets them live life to the fullest by supplying energy, preventing obesity, protecting against malnourishment, maintaining the immune system, and reducing the risk of chronic disease. Milk, yogurt, and seeds contain calcium that strengthens their bones. Eggs, lean meats, and cheese contain protein that builds their muscles. Whole-grain bread, potatoes, and apples contain carbohydrate that provides energy. Legumes, spinach, and quinoa contain iron that makes healthy blood. Fish, avocados, and nuts contain healthy fat that helps their body absorb vitamins.
For their mind to think well
The brain uses more than 20% of daily energy which is more than what any other organ in the body uses. Learning, memory, and attentiveness are affected by the food children consume. As children’s brains develop rapidly, a nutrient-dense diet is needed to help them process the world around them. Without the right nutrients, toddlers and preschoolers might struggle to develop the skills to maintain concentration. Fish, broccoli and berries are just a few foods known to improve cognitive functions and memory. Conversely, refined sugar, bad fats, and additives can negatively affect a child’s mind by making them feel hazy and less focused. Nutrition also has a direct effect on how children feel. The brain networks associated with controlling feeding are linked closely to emotion. Serotonin, the happy hormone, is mostly produced in the gut so healthy eating can help children to feel happier.
At a basic level, most parents understand how important nutrition is. However, trying to implement healthy eating habits can be challenging. This is when a nutritious meal plan at a child care centre is useful. At Choo Choo Train Baby & Child Care Centre, healthy nutrition is one of our key pillars. With hundreds of children in our care across Klang Valley, we know just what they need. Our meal plan allows children to stay fuelled by the right food. Our food is prepared in-house by a specific staff who went for a food handling course and has gotten a typhoid injection. We use a very little salt and oil for toddlers and preschoolers. For snacking, we serve a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Our fruit juices are squeezed freshly and served without sugar. On top of that, children are also involved in cooking under Kids Can Cook classes.