Food and Nutrition for Babies and Toddlers
Babies, toddlers and pre-school children grow and develop quickly and we have to ensure they get the right nutrition, energy, calories and nutrients they need. Healthy eating is crucial for children’s development and something we really value. Here at Hamilton Nursery we love food and are keen to share that love of food with all our children.
It is also an important time for children to learn about what they eat. This knowledge enables them to develop good habits of consuming healthy foods. Children should have a varied diet they can enjoy with the whole family. We know it can be hard as parents to know exactly what our children should be eating (and in what proportions) to get the right nutritional balance.
A varied selection of menus in collaboration with parents
We like to keep our menus exciting and current to support the children to develop a positive relationship with food and nutrition. To do this we reassess our menus every six to eight weeks. Staff involve the children and their families in this process.
Recently we used our online platform to open up conversations about what children like to eat at home and what recipes are always a hit. After collaborating with our families, we incorporated these ideas into our menus and are lucky enough to have some parents coming in to host cookery sessions with the children soon.
Why don’t you try out one of our latest recipe cards here.
Role models and routines
Food is freshly prepared in our kitchen and delivered to the classrooms. Once there the children independently self-serve their meals. This promotes self-confidence and develops the children’s knowledge of healthy choices, portion sizes and recognising when they are full.
You can carry this on at home by giving children small responsibilities to make mealtimes exciting. Try getting them to set the table for everybody and count how many plates they need. They can also help to prepare parts of the meal.
Nurturing an understanding
Responsibilities like these are an important part of children’s development as they make sense of the world around them and learn to be healthy, happy and active adults.
Here at Hamilton Nursery Leicester we plan activities to develop children’s understanding of food and where it comes from. We also discuss how we can reduce waste and how we can make good choices about the foods we eat.
Our nursery chefs schedule time to cook alongside the children. This helps them to think critically about where our ingredients come from and how they will make us feel when we eat them.
When hunger strikes…
An important part of this growth and development is for children to recognise how hunger feels. They need to know when they have eaten enough and feel full. It is important to keep this in mind when planning snacks into the children’s day. This is something we consider when planning our menus.
Annabel Karmel recommends keeping snacks such as vegetable sticks, rice cakes, bread sticks and cheese prepared and handy for when hunger strikes. You will find these types of ingredients featured on our menus.
Health and wellbeing is a huge part of our ethos. If you are looking for a nursery place here at Hamilton Nursery, Leicester, why not give us a call or book a visit and you may even sample a little of one of our delicious meals!
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