Nutrition Guidelines for Your Childcare Center

Every childcare center has the crucial responsibility of ensuring the all-round growth of children. Among the several aspects to focus on, one of the most important is the nutrition and health of the kids. Here are a few nutrition guidelines your childcare center can benefit from.

Mealtime arrangements
Mealtime arrangements can differ between centers. While some childcare centers provide all meals and snacks for the kids enrolled, some ask the families to provide meals for their children. If you run long day childcare facility, you must provide one meal and two snacks on each working day. Usually in most cases, this will be tea in the morning and evening and lunch in the afternoon.

In some centers, they even serve breakfast. If your center is not providing meals, it is however your responsibility to guide the parents on healthy meal choices when they send food for their children.

Mealtime supervision
Mealtime is a very important time for the kids at the center and hence the childcare employees must supervise the kids to ensure healthy eating practices. Children must always enjoy a relaxed and happy mood while eating. Often, the kids share their meal with other children and caregivers.

Encouraging healthy eating practices, cultivating positive attitudes about food are some aspects caretakers must focus on during the mealtime of kids. Safety during mealtime is also very important to take care. Children look around and learn how to eat and how to make food preferences.

Pointers to good food
The size and texture of the food must be appropriate to the child’s age and ability to let them swallow and chew their food easily.

Hard foods and nuts that are difficult for the young children to swallow must be avoided.

Children should not be fed forcibly.

It is important that the children are made to sit quietly during food time. Once taught and nurtured, children will pick up this habit quickly. Remember that when you make something a part of the system, it will be imbibed and adapted to easily.

Food hygiene is a very important topic for childcare centers.

How to ensure the nutritive value and hygiene of the food the children consume
If you are preparing your own food for the kids at your childcare center, here are a few points to note regarding food preparation.

Preparing food carefully and handling it properly are very important. Train the staff dealing with food to prepare, store and handle food carefully.

Ensure that the staff and children cultivate adequate hand washing.

The microwave must be used safely for heating foods and drinks.

Irrespective of whether the children eat the food prepared at the center or the food sent by their parents, it is very important to promote healthy eating habits in kids. If you are supplying your own food at the center, it is also a good idea to display the menu for informing the parents so that you can welcome some suggestions on the foods served to the kids.

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