The Importance of Early Learning Programs Encouraging Positive Food Habits

Getting children into the habit of eating healthily and leading healthy lifestyles requires the influence of both parents and early childhood educators. 

Many Australians lead busy lives, with schedules that leave little-to-no time to properly prepare healthy meals and snacks for themselves, let alone their children. 

It is very important that parents consider allocating the time or educating themselves on how to prepare simple but healthy meals and snacks on the days when their children are not at daycare.

The importance of early childhood learning in relation to a positive future:

Early childhood education programs are specifically developed and carefully curated to target the developmental growth of every child, recognising the importance of healthy habits. 

At Albany Creek Kids, we know that each child is unique and different to the next which is why we specifically tailor our Evolution program to ensure all our children will have the opportunity to receive an individual learning approach, unique to their own abilities. 

Our early childhood educators ensure, children receive a holistic approach to early learning,  focused on providing developmental, emotional and social support. 

These three aspects are the foundation of early learning programs which emphasise the importance for every unique child. In addition to this, our programs heavily influence the positive development of a child, in more ways than one: 

Healthy lifestyles help children learn: 

Not many people are aware that maintaining good health and physical activities are important for all learning and development of children as well as adults. 

When children are not taught the importance of a healthy lifestyle, this will not only impact their learning and development but will carry significant impacts as they grow older. 

When children get into the habit of understanding the importance of healthy eating habits from a young age, as well as encouraging a positive attitude towards physical activities and self-care routines, a foundation of a healthy life is laid down. This can positively affect their immediate and future physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

Healthy diets have many benefits for child development as well as gradual growth. Some benefits include:

– Increases energy levels
– Maintain mental development
– Healthy weight management
– Help prevent mental health issues
– Improve concentration levels and attention span 

At Albany Creek Kids, as part of our early learning programs, we encourage children to always eat healthily as well as educate them about the importance of leading a healthy life and the impacts it will have on their future. 

Healthy lifestyles support child learning and therefore goes hand in hand with all early learning programs. Children will simply not get a well-balanced approach to their education if the physical wellness factor is absent. 

Here are some tips you can do at home to ensure your child gets into the habit of a healthy lifestyle:

Breakfast is a must!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make you provide some healthy options to change up throughout the week. Some healthy breakfast options include:

– egg sandwiches on wholegrain or wholemeal bread
– plain yoghurt with a mix of seasonal fruits
– porridge with a drizzle of banana and honey
– peanut butter or vegemite on toast

Don’t allow meal skips

Skipping meals is a big faux pas! If children get into the habit of thinking that it is okay to skip a meal, they will miss out on nutrients which are necessary for their physical and developmental growth and potentially stall their metabolism. 

Not to mention, it is super unhealthy for adults to skip a meal, let alone young developing brains and bodies.

Get children to help you prep meals or snacks 

Allow children to be involved in the preparation of meals or even their own daily snacks can help get them into the habit of healthy eating from a young age and encourages accountability. 

Even when you go shopping for groceries get children involved in picking out the items they will need for dinner or healthy snacks. 

Here are some great alternatives that children will love, instead of the common unhealthy food options that most Australians tend to lean towards:

– Replace potato fries with sweet potato fries
– Replace soft drinks with flavoured sparkling water
– Replace white bread with wholemeal or wholegrain bread
– Replace lollies with real fruit snacks 

Make meals look fun 🙂

Another thing that will encourage young children to adopt healthy eating habits more frequently is making meals look fun. 

Be creative, make images and shapes out of fruit and vegetable snacks. Make a seasonal fruit salad and include bright colours, or even use food dye where possible to make meals come to life.

Children love colours so if it looks good, it will most likely taste good to them too. 

Our approach to recognising the importance of health in early childhood learning:

At Albany Creek Kids, we understand the unique nature of each child and aim to develop a personalised approach in order to make the most of their journey at child care.

On a daily basis, we encourage nutritionally based meals and snacks to ensure that in addition to our programs, each child’s diet is a contributor to their physical, emotional and social development. 

We don’t underestimate the power of a healthy diet, and neither should you. To speak to an educator or book a centre tour call us on 07 3325 5377 fill our online form.