The preschool years are a vital time in a child’s life. This is when children learn and implement habits, for good or for ill. It’s important that parents help their child develop healthy habits; this includes the food their children choose to eat. Children will likely learn the basic facts of nutrition and healthy eating from meals at home and preschool in Buena Park, but this may not be enough to make the information stick. Here are 5 tips for teaching children about nutrition.
Share the Facts
A child’s education should continue outside of a Buena Park preschool. Parents shouldn’t simply tell children that carrots and apples are good for them: parents should explain why. Parents can make nutritional values more concrete by pointing out the parts of a child’s body that will benefit most from each food. They may even want to throw in fun facts about the history and traditions surrounding different foods.
Involve Children in Food Planning and Preparation
Responsibility is an effective way to help children apply and retain the things they learn. Involve children in the meal planning process and give them tasks to help during food preparation, such filling measuring cups and stirring.
Take Children Grocery Shopping
Along with planning the meal, parents should let their children help with grocery shopping. Don’t simply hand a child a game or a toy to keep distracted at the store. Instead, parents should talk to their children about the food they buy and allow kids to help pick out items and bag produce.
Parents should do their best to stay positive about meals, and avoid forcing their children to eat something. If a child is hesitant to try a new food, parents should make the experience into a game or an adventure. Children may grow to like a food if they try it enough times, and they are much more likely to give food a second try in the future when they don’t already have a negative experience associated with the food.
Don’t Cut Out Treats
Children who are not allowed sugar and other junk food often crave it and binge on it when they are at birthday parties or on play dates. Instead, teach children to eat unhealthy snacks and desserts in moderation. Parents should present treats as a fun part of occasional special events such as extended family dinners, trips to restaurants, and vacations.