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Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young Children


EAT RIGHT, GROW STRONG NUTRITION FOR YOUNG CHILDREN INSERT YOUR NAME AND INFO HERE * How many of us have eaten until we were stuffed too full? Have you ever eaten ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young Children

Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young
  • Describe why good nutrition is so important for
    young children.
  • Explain the components of a child care
    environment that promote healthy eating.
  • Describe the role of child care staff in helping
    shape childrens eating behaviors.
  • List some things staff can do in their classroom
    to help children develop healthy eating behaviors.

Lets Review
  • More than 1 in 4 preschoolers are overweight or
  • Being overweight is a risk to physical and mental
  • Poor nutrition contributes to weight gain
  • Child care providers can help keep children

  • Young children need to eat nutritious foods
    because their bodies are growing rapidly.
  • Children may receive between 50 and 75 of their
    daily calories at the child care facility.
  • Children learn healthy (or unhealthy) eating
    habits at a very young age.

  • What have you noticed about the eating habits
    of children in your program?
  • Have they changed over time?

What does all this mean for Child Care Providers?
  • Providers have an important influence on
    childrens development of early eating habits
    and attitudes.
  • Children look up to their teachers and often
    model their own eating habits based on watching
  • Providers can make changes to create a better
    food environment so its easier for children
    and staff to make healthier choices.

Role Modeling is key
  • Interact with children during meal times.
  • Sit at the table and eat with the children.
  • Gently encourage (but dont force) children to
    try bites of new or disliked foods.
  • Avoid using food as a reward.
  • Avoid eating unhealthy food in front of the
  • Keep your (negative) opinions to yourself.

Fruits and Veggies
  • A variety of fruits and vegetables
    give children the vitamins and
    minerals that keep them healthy
    and help them grow.
  • Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense lots
    of nutrients but few calories, unless too much
    butter, cheese, dressings or meat fats are added.
  • 100 fruit and vegetable juices are less
    nutritious and filling than the whole fruits
    and vegetables themselves.

Make eating fruits and vegetables fun!
  • How can you get kids to LOVE their fruits and
    vegetables (or at least try them)?
  • Serve them creatively.
  • Use vegetables that the kids have helped grow
    (try planting a few easy-to-grow vegetables in a
    small raised bed).
  • Let them help prepare them.
  • Have a tasting party for your senses.

Make eating fruits and vegetables fun!
  • How can you get kids to LOVE their fruits and
    vegetables (or at least try them)?
  • Make it a game! See how many colors you can eat
    in one meal.
  • Set a good example.
  • Incorporate them into lessons by trying fruits
    and vegetables from different places around the
  • Keep serving fruits and veggies until the
    kids are used to them

Meats and Fats
  • Most sausage, bacon, hot dogs, and other
    processed meats have a lot of fat, sodium, and
    calories, so consuming too much can contribute to
    future health problems.
  • French fries and chicken nuggets are also high in
    saturated fat and calories.
  • Kids will also enjoy lower fat foods like baked
    potatoes and baked chicken.
  • Consider occasionally replacing meat with beans
    for a low fat option with lots of
    fiber and protein.

  • What methods of cooking are the healthiest?
  • What other foods could you start serving as
    healthier alternatives to what you serve now?
  • What could make it hard to make these changes?
  • What are the benefits of making these changes?

Grains and Sugars
  • Fiber aids digestion and helps children feel
    full. Try and incorporate high-fiber whole grain
    foods at least once every day.
  • Sugary and salty foods have a lot of empty
    caloriesthey are often high in fat and calories
    but have little nutritional value. Serve these
    only occasionally.

Identifying whole grains
  • Dont be fooled by whole grain wanna-bes!
  • Multigrain
  • Wheat
  • Stoneground
  • Look for
  • 100 whole grain
  • A whole grain listed first in the ingredient list
  • Oats/Oatmeal, Whole Wheat, Whole Rye/Rye Berries,
    Brown Rice, Whole name of grain

How would you makeover these breakfast and snack
items to incorporate whole grains?
  • Muffins
  • Frosted flakes
  • Breakfast cereal bar
  • Cookies
  • Pop-Tart
  • Chips

  • Water is the best choice for thirsty children.
    Model good habits for the children by
    choosing water first.
  • Soda and fruit drinks are full of sugar and
    empty calories (few nutrients, many calories).
  • Serving skim or 1 milk with meals and snacks
    provides calcium, vitamin D, and protein without
    many calories.

Beverage Myths
  • Myth 1 Whole milk is best for all kids
  • Under age 1 breast milk or formula
  • Ages 1 to 2 Whole milk
  • Over age 2 skim or 1 milk
  • Myth 2 Juice is always the best option
  • Whole fruits have more nutrients
  • Under age 6 a maximum of 4-6 oz.
    per day of 100 juice
  • Not a good choice to quench thirst

Menus and Variety
  • Serving a variety of foods helps to meet a
    childs nutrition needs.
  • Cycle menus of 3 weeks or longer may help provide
  • Children may be more willing to try new foods
    when they are served with familiar foods.
  • Children may need to see a new food at least 10
    times before theyll actually try it.
    Dont give up!

Feeding Practices
  • Gently encourage, but dont force children to try
    a bite of a new food.
  • A child never does a bad
    or good job of eating
  • Forcing children to clean
    their plates can lead to
    overeating and weight problems.

Feeding Practices
  • Offer healthy foods to children and then let them
    decide if and how much to eat.
  • Make meal and snack time as stress free as
    possible and try to provide enough time to eat.
  • Avoid using food to reward good behavior or to
    make a child feel better about something.

These recommendations are great but how can we
put them into practice? How can we help children
avoid developing unhealthy habits?
What would you do?
Scenario 1 You notice that Jose is pushing his
food around on his plate, but isnt really eating
anything. Scenario 2 Maya has already had 2
servings of bread and asks for another one.
Scenario 3 Steven quickly eats his French
fries and asks for some more before having eaten
any of the other food on his plate.
Foods Offered Outside of Regular Meals and Snacks
  • Ask parents to help celebrate birthdays, and
    holidays with healthier options than candy, cake,
    and ice cream. Healthier treats like fruit
    kabobs, yogurt popsicles, and low-fat, whole
    grain muffins are great alternatives.
  • If your facility has fundraisers, consider
    campaigns that involve healthier foods or
    non-food items. This sends a message that you
    care about good health.

What would you do?
  • Scenario 4 Its Jimmys birthday and his mom
    asks if she can bring in cupcakes.

Supporting Healthy Eating
  • If possible, serve meals family-style where
    teachers join the children at the table.
  • Teachers can show that healthy eating is fun by
    modeling healthy choices and helping to create a
    pleasant social environment around the table.

Supporting Healthy Eating
  • Soda machines and candy bowls in your facility
    send the message that these things are OK, and
    make it harder for staff and children to choose
    healthier options.

Lets Brainstorm
  • What are some ways we can model healthy eating
    during meal and snack times?

Putting it all together My Plate
  • ½ a Plate of Fruits Vegetables
  • Serve Lean Proteins
  • Make at least half the grains you serve whole
  • Serve low-fat dairy or dairy alternatives
  • Sit down and enjoy food family-style

Food Program guidelines
  • Guidelines may be confusing
  • Talk to your CACFP representative
  • A variety of foods meet guidelines, both healthy
    and unhealthy choices
  • NEW handbook for CACFP participating providers on
    creating a healthier environment

Things to Remember
  • Children will eat!
  • They are capable of regulating their food
  • They generally react negatively to new foods, but
    will usually accept them with time and
  • Caregivers can either support or disrupt
    childrens food acceptance and regulation.

Nutrition Activity
Child care providers are role models for healthy
habits. How can you be a good role model to the
children you care for?
Nutrition Education for Children, Parents, and
  • If children hear the same health messages from
    parents and from child care providers, theyre
    more likely to listen.
  • Use your toolkit!
  • There are several curricula available to help
    staff incorporate nutrition education into lesson
  • Look for opportunities to provide nutrition
    education for staff and earn continuing education
    credits at the same time.

Classroom Nutrition Resources
  • Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life Curriculum
  • Early Sprouts Cultivating Healthy Food Choices
    in Young Children Curriculum http//www.earlysprou
  • Color me Healthy Curriculum http//www.colormeheal
  • Team Nutrition http//
  • Farm to Preschool
  • USDAs MyPlate for Preschoolers
  • Exploring Food Together Toolkit

Cooking activities for children
Preschoolers can cook and learn!!
  • What they can do
  • Measure, stir, beat
  • Peel, cut, grate
  • Hot vs. cold
  • Compare quantities
  • Set the table
  • What they can learn
  • Fine motor skills
  • Follow directions
  • Observing
  • Enhance social skills
  • Sorting, classifying skills

Nutrition Policy
  • A written policy on food and nutrition
  • Tells parents and staff that these are important
    issues and that you care about the health of
    the children in your facility.
  • Helps guide decisions and choices your
    facility makes every day.
  • Makes it easier to explain your approach
    to parents and staff.

How to Make a Healthy Lunch
What is the difference?
  • Healthy
  • Baked, skinless chicken breast
  • Steamed carrots
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Whole wheat dinner roll
  • Skim milk
  • Unhealthy
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Tator tots
  • Canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup
  • Slice of white bread
  • Whole milk

Nutrition Activity
  • What changes can you make in your classroom?
  • Write down 3 things you can change to either help
    the children achieve one of the behaviors below
    or to work on one of the strategies listed.
  • Eat at least five fruits and vegetables a
  • Drink less sugar. Drink more water and
    low fat
  • milk.
  • Provide healthy choices for snacks and
    celebrations limit unhealthy choices.
  • Provide non-food rewards.