Building Healthy Eating Habits22 Apr 2019
Building Healthy Eating Habits
Good nutrition plays a vital role in children’s physical learning and development. Find out how we help your children develop healthy eating habits.
At Oac, our seasonal menus are designed to ensure your child is eating a balanced diet and building on the foods they enjoy. We know developing healthy eating habits also goes beyond the design of a menu – it is incorporated into the way our educators engage with the children on an everyday basis.
In the Nursery we are starting to encourage mealtimes as an opportunity for the children to sit together at a shared table in small groups. The educators can sit with the children and talk about the food and what is in the dish, while children can watch each other eating and drinking in a relaxed manner. Educators can model eating the same food while they supervise the mealtime and ensure it is a positive experience.
Later, the children learn to feed themselves independently by sitting at the table, starting to use a spoon and use tongs to serve themselves from a platter. These skills take a lot of practise over a long period of time - and a lot of respectful patience from the adults. Allowing lots of time for mealtimes means the children can explore the food, maybe try new foods and stimulate curiosity around food. The educators can talk about the flavours and textures.
Oac seasonal menus are specifically designed to cater for all our children, offering allergy and alternative options depending on their age and stage. The meals are carefully designed to contain a large amount of nutritional variety. We have accredited dieticians who develop our menus and in-house cooks who prepare the meals each day. The recipes are simple and available to families from the campus to try at home if you would like some inspiration or to repeat a dish your child enjoyed during the day.
Here are a few things you can do at home to help your children develop healthy eating habits:
Talk about the foods they are eating, and what’s in a dish.
Sit down and eat with them
Keep mealtimes calm and unhurried