During a child’s constant growth period—physically, cognitively and behaviourally—nutrition plays a starring role.
Nutrition includes everything your child drinks and eats. Their little bodies utilise the nutrients to fuel their everyday movements, learning moments and activities. Children need a wholesome balance of proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates.
1. Nutrition helps your child stay healthy
In order to prevent disease, your child’s diet should include an intake of healthy fruits, vegetables and proteins.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine, “Some children, who are lacking the vital nutrients they need, may experience fatigue and be more likely to become sick” (Medline, 2013).
To help your child’s body stay strong against illness, ensure they have a well-rounded diet.
2. Nutrition impacts your child’s ability to grow
Throughout the early years, especially the first year of life, a child’s body grows at an immense rate. A sufficient intake of healthy foods and drinks provides the energy and nutrients needed to grow.
A diet inclusive of calcium and other vitamins will allow for optimum physical and skeletal growth.
3. Proper nutrition aids brain development
The quality and amount of food your child consumes can impact their brain development.
An article from Livestrong.com shares, “Poor nutrition during fetal development and early life can lower IQ scores and lead to learning disorders, according to Dr. Reynaldo Martorell, professor of International Nutrition at Emory University.”
A child’s ability to concentrate and interact with others may also be affected by the foods they eat. Proper nutrition allows for the vitamins and energy needed to function and grow, but also ensure optimal brain development.
4. Your child is more likely to maintain a healthy weight
Because healthy habits start from childhood, nutrition from an early age impacts your child’s current and future weight.
According to the World Health Organisation, “Eating nutrient dense foods and balancing energy intake with the necessary physical activity to maintain a healthy weight is essential at all stages of life.”
Potential health problems from being overweight include liver problems, diabetes, eating disorders, respiratory disorders and sleep apnea.
5. Your child will be able to function better throughout the day
If you begin your child’s day off with a nutritious breakfast, they’ll have the fuel to function well, starting in the morning. As the day continues, if they consume healthy foods—instead of sugars, processed foods and fats—they’ll have more energy to learn, play and be engaged in activities.
By intaking healthy foods and drinks, your child will be better able to:
- Concentrate during learning activities
- Stay alert and active
- Maintain better energy levels and sleeping patterns
Involving portions from the various areas of the Healthy Living Pyramid gives your child the balance and well-rounded meals they need for top functioning throughout the day.
6. Unhealthy foods have a negative impact on your child
Consuming too much sugar, fats and salts, for example, can produce a decline in your child’s overall wellbeing.
While your child needs a certain number of calories to grow and develop, extra calories will be stored as body fat.
The World Health Organization shares, “Unbalanced consumption of foods high in energy (sugar, starch and/or fat) and low in essential nutrients contributes to energy excess, overweight and obesity.”
7. Proper nutrition as a child links to a healthier life and adulthood
The food and drinks your child consumes directly affect their daily activities and growth. They also play a role in overall growth and development — including and leading up to adulthood.
As an example, a child who builds healthy bones will have a solid foundation for bone health in adolescence and adulthood.
8. Your child will enjoy a better quality of life
Encouraging and instilling excellent nutrition will offer a better quality of life for your child. They can enjoy life’s activities with better health, focus and enjoyment.
When children have a well-balanced diet and are feeling healthy, they will have more energy to learn, play, move, grow and experience all life has to offer.
9. Instilling proper nutrition allows for a teachable moment
By having discussions with your child, no matter how young, you can instil the important values of health and wellbeing. Your child will be empowered with your knowledge and insight. They can take what you teach them into adolescence and through adulthood.
In addition, nutrition discussions open up opportunity for other early learning conversations about topics such as physical activity and safety issues. If you explain such values and reasonings behind them, you’re allowing for a deeper connection with your child—and a better understanding of any topic at hand.
10. Your child will know what’s good for their health
A child won’t necessarily know what’s good and bad for them — unless they have someone to guide them. This is the same for nutrition.
By helping your child to learn what is good for their health and what is not, they will begin to formulate a knowledge base around nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Without this guidance, your child might not understand the importance of choosing a piece of fruit over a bag of potato chips.
When you inform your child from the beginning, they learn about and develop healthy nutritional habits which will help them live a longer, more healthier life.
A look at the nutrition plan at Harmony
At Harmony, we are committed to the wellbeing of your child – and that starts with nutrition.
We believe healthy food, drinks and habits greatly impact the learning and growth of your child.
We provide nutritionally balanced meals prepared by our on-site chef. Each day we prepare fresh, wholesome meals that will help your child be at their very best.
With our premium meal plans, we provide the following:
- Nutritionally balanced meals prepared by our quality chef
- Wholesome, tasty ingredients rich in nutrients
- Menus that meet a significant amount of a child’s daily nutritional requirements
Our child care centres provide all meals with the daily fee.
If you’d like to learn more about our nutrition approach and other offerings at Harmony Early Learning Journey, book a free tour today.
Medline Plus, 2013: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002456.htm Accessed 10th Feb 2017