Supporting Healthy Eating
You can help your child’s development by providing them with a nutritious and healthy diet. Here we provide some advice about healthy eating.
“We have long campaigned for clear guidance on early years nutrition and providers have been crying out for direction for several years now. Practitioners are well aware that what makes up a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet for young children differs from that of adults. However, with so much conflicting advice around it’s now become a minefield to decipher what is appropriate for young children, so the timing of the voluntary guidelines couldn’t be better.”
Neil Leitch, Chief Executive, Pre-school Learning Alliance
Staying for lunch at pre-school is an exciting time as the children learn to eat independently
Spending the day learning and playing requires the right sort of fuel. Your child will have been very active throughout their session at pre-school and therefore it is essential they receive the right nutrients to refuel at lunch time. Good nutrients can lead to better concentration, improved pre-school learning as well as healthy growth and development.
It is important that your child’s lunch box is both appealing and healthy offering a variety of choice, and of a controlled portion. small bite size pieces make it more appealable and managable for small children.
Allowing your child to be involved in making their lunch can make it a more enjoyable experience.
- Starchy foods include breadsticks, crackers, oatcakes, rice cakes, small wholemeal pitta, tortilla, muffin, bread or bread roll, pasta, rice or cous cous salad.
- Fruit and vegetables include sliced apples, oranges, pears, easy to peel satsuma, grapes (halved), strawberries, kiwi fruit, nectarines, peaches, apricots, canned fruit (in juice), vegetable or fruit kebabs, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, vegetables sticks and dips.
- Dairy foods include cubes of cheese, yoghurt or fromage frais, rice pudding or custard, milk or flavoured drinks.
- Meat, fish and beans include sliced meat, poultry or fish is sandwiches, sliced egg in sandwiches, pulses as part of salads.
- Fat and sugar – do not include sweets and chocolate bars and high sugar drinks. Children at pre-school are still very young and they need a highly nutritious diet. Foods that are highly processed and contain large amounts of additives, salt and sugar must be avoided.
- A drink includes fruit juice, milk, yoghurt drink, water.
Helpful Links – Change4Life website – www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/healthierlunchboxes