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

Posted on March 26 2024 Categories: ,

There are several possibilities at mealtimes to SUPPORT POSITIVE OUTCOMES for children. Influencing a child’s health, learning, AND overall well-being.

Meals provide growing bodies and developing minds the nutrients they need. A well-balanced and nutritious meal is essential for children throughout their early stage of growth and development, as it supports their physical and cognitive development.

For optimal health and well-being, children require well-balanced, nutritious meals that contain the necessary minerals and vitamins. This also fosters a lifetime of healthy eating habits that the children may carry through into the future.

The Importance of Happy and Healthy Mealtimes for Young Children

Mealtime is a regular daily practice, but it shouldn’t be disregarded. Understanding how significant components of our everyday lives offer significant opportunities for promoting early learning and overall development is crucial for parents and carers who want to create healthy environments for our children.

7 GREAT Positive Ways mealtime benefits your child…

⦁ BUILDING SOCIAL SKILLS, sharing a meal with others at mealtime helps children develop essential social skills as they take turns, share food, communicate politely, and even make fun. 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, Foods come in a range of tastes, textures, and colours. Providing children with the chance to taste and experiment with many new foods activates their senses and encourages them to try new things. This creates a willingness to learn and explore new ideas, that can be carried into other aspects of children’s lives and education exploring endless new concepts.

⦁ DEVELOPING FINE MOTOR SKILLS, Children can develop their fine motor skills at mealtimes. These abilities are used for a variety of tasks, including writing, sketching, and other activities requiring control and accuracy, such as scooping food or gripping utensils.

⦁ LEARNING ABOUT NUTRITION, Children get to learn about the nutritional content of various meals at mealtime, which helps them realise how important it is to make healthy choices. Educating children about nutrition helps them realise the need for certain foods, such as protein, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are all vital for healthy bones, brain development, and overall development. This is something at Leap Start we ensure to do each 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, children learn self-help skills including clearing up after themselves, using utensils, and feeding themselves during mealtimes. Children get more confidence and independence from these experiences. When children perform duties, such as gathering their plates and silverware this can enhance their independence, self-help abilities, and fine motor skills.

⦁ BONDING AND EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS, during mealtimes, family, friends, and educators can provide chances for emotional connections. Positive relationships during mealtimes can enhance a child’s feeling of wellness and belonging, fostering an environment that’s beneficial to 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 simply a regular part of our daily routines, for young children just starting to learn, an enjoyable and nutritious mealtime can encourage development and create the foundation for a successful educational journey.

Contact Leap Start Early Learning Childcare today.