Nutrition plays a critical role in early childhood development, and can impact a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth. While eating nutritious foods is an important aspect to a little one’s cognitive function, it also imperative for remaining healthy into their adolescent and adult years, In fact, it seems that in recent years, childhood obesity has become a hot topic among parents nationwide. According to HealthyKids.gov, “childhood obesity is now the number one health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.” This shocking statistic sheds light on just how prominent childhood obesity is in the United States, and why you should consider teaching your child the importance of healthy eating.
In today’s article, we will be talking about why nutritious food is beneficial for children, while providing a few helpful tips to get your little one to start eating healthier. If you are searching for a daycare that understands the importance of nutrition for youngsters, visit Valley Learning Centers today. As Arizona’s top learning center, we have a variety of facilities spanning from Phoenix, Glendale, Anthem, El Mirage, Tempe, Chandler, and Surprise. We provide children with a safe and secure environment where they can develop their social, cognitive, and emotional abilities with other kids. To learn why we take nutrition seriously at Valley Learning Centers, continue reading more below.
Eating a Nutritious Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for many reasons. Upon waking up, the easiest way to kickstart your metabolism is by eating a nutritious breakfast. Several studies have shown that eating breakfast in the mornings can boost your metabolism rate by up to 10 percent! Keeping your child’s metabolism active is an easy way for them to maintain a healthy weight, and will get them in the habit of eating three well-rounded meals each day.
Surprisingly, not every child gets to experience the benefits of a healthy breakfast. In fact, it was found that almost 25 percent of boys and 33 percent of girls did not eat breakfast every day. By allowing your little one to go without breakfast, you are not only neglecting them of the nutrients they require, but you are also instilling unhealthy eating habits in them that they may carry with them as they become older.
Make Meals a Tradition
Sitting at your kitchen table with family is one of the few times that family members can spend quality time with each other. Unfortunately, your busy lifestyle may interfere with how much one-on-one time you are able to provide to your child. The lack of time spent with your kiddo can be further impacted if you frequently eat dinner in front of your TV. While it may seem like this is a rare occurrence, the truth is that nearly 25 percent of children eat dinner in front of their TV.
Dinner is a time for family members to communicate with one another, and if your child is instead entertained by your TV, they may feel like you don’t want to spend quality time with them. Choosing to eat at the dinner table can teach children that meals should be seen as an experience, not just something that is meant to hold you over until your next meal. This could help to steer children away from eating fast food when home-cooked meals are readily available.
Instill the Importance of Eating Healthy
This may seem obvious, but the best way you can get your child to start eating healthy is by setting a good example for them. Children look up to their parents, and often mimic the patterns that their parents carry out each day. By showing your children that eating healthy isn’t something that has to be dreaded, you can help ease their worries when it comes time for them to eat their veggies.
One easy trick to make vegetables much more enjoyable is by pan frying them using garlic, butter, and even bacon to add an element of savoriness. While this may seem counterintuitive to eating healthy foods, their growing bodies can handle a little extra fat. Practicing these tips while also telling your little one that eating their fruits and vegetables can help them grow big and strong will only add more incentive for your child to scarf down the healthy foods that they require.
We hope that the tips we have listed above can help to make meals for your child much more enjoyable. We know that the first meal of the day is one of the most important, which is why we offer free daily breakfast for both you and your child. This is a great way to spend time with your youngster before you head to work, and will show them the importance of eating a healthy meal in the morning. To learn more about our services offered, or to find your nearest child care center, visit our website or contact our friendly staff at Valley Learning Centers!