11
Sep

HAPPY and HEALTHY Mealtime is HIGHLY IMPORTANT for young children for SEVERAL REASONS.

Mealtime
Posted on September 11 2023 Categories:

Mealtimes offer many opportunities to PROMOTE POSITIVE OUTCOMES for children. Shaping a child’s learning, development health AND overall well-being.

Meals provide nutrition for growing bodies and nourishing young minds. Children in their early phase of rapid growth and development require a balanced and nutritious diet to support their physical and cognitive growth.

Children need regular healthy balanced meals to provide them with all necessary nutritious minerals and vitamins essential for their overall health and well-being encouraging overall good nutritious eating habits children can continue throughout the rest of their lives.

Happy And Healthy Mealtime Is Highly Important For Young Children For Several Reasons.

 

Yes, Mealtime is a normal everyday routine, but it is not to be overlooked. Parents and caregivers striving to create beneficial environments for our children should understand how important aspects of our daily lives hold great potential for enhancing early learning and overall child development.

Happy And Healthy Mealtime Is Highly Important For Young Children For Several Reasons.

7 GREAT Positive Ways mealtime benefits your child…

BUILDING SOCIAL SKIILS, during mealtime sharing a meal with others teaches children valuable social skills as they take turns, share food, engage in polite conversation, and have a giggle here and there. During this time these interactions benefit children’s understanding of creating healthy relationships and effective communication which they continue throughout their lives.

EXPOSURE TO DIFFERENT FOODS, during mealtime, children are exposed to a variety of foods, flavours, textures, and colours. Giving them the opportunity to appreciate and explore different new foods stimulates children’s senses encouraging them to be open to trying new things. This can be carried into other aspects of their lives, willingness to learn and explore endless new concepts. At Leap Start, we have beautiful gardens filled with growing vegetables and fruits not only exposing our children to different foods during mealtime but also showing and teaching them how and where certain foods come from. While teaching children about different growing vegetables and fruits they get to explore and watch as the fruit and vegetables grow up to when they are ready to harvest watching the life cycle of fresh produce sometimes even helping our chefs by picking produce for them to then use in the kitchen for their next meal.

DEVELOPING FINE MOTOR SKILLS, mealtime provides numerous opportunities for children to practice their fine motor skills, from grasping utensils to scooping food are skills they use for many different tasks such as drawing, writing and other activities with control and precision.

LEARNING ABOUT NUTRITION, during mealtime, children get to learn about the nutritional value of different foods to help them understand the importance of making healthy choices. Teaching children about the food they are eating helps them understand how important some foods can be for them such as protein, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids which are all crucial for brain development, bone health and overall growth. This is something at Leap Start we ensure to do each and every day for our children. Our wonderful team of chefs at Leap Start deliver to all the different dietary requirements our children have along with ensuring that the Dietary Guidelines for how much protein fruit and veg children need in their daily diets are followed.

CULTIVATING INDEPENDENCE, during mealtime children practice self-help skills such as serving themselves, using utensils and cleaning up after eating. These experiences further children’s independence and confidence. The children at Leap Start are involved in all their meal practices throughout the day. As they enjoy delicious food cooked by our chefs children however serve themselves the food they want to eat, along with collecting their own plates and cutlery to further develop their self-help skills, independence and fine motor skills.

BONDING AND EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS, families, friends, and educators during mealtime offer opportunities to connect emotionally. Mealtime can be filled with positive interactions that contribute to a child’s sense of belonging and wellbeing which creates a welcoming environment for further learning and exploration.

CULTURAL AWARENESS, exposure to different cuisines and cultural practices often occurs during mealtime. Children can explore diverse foods learning more about the world around them. This can spark their curiosity and promote an appreciation and understanding of the different cultures around them in Australia being part of a multicultural country, we all call home.

Mealtime is more than just a daily part of our lives, for early learning children happy and healthy mealtime can contribute to growth and young minds laying a foundation for a successful educational journey.