Nearly every day another nervous, first-time daycare family walks into Happy Bunnies Day Nursery with a speech prepared.
“My child is very delicate, you see. He only eats one particular brand of fish fingers with half an apple, cut into quarters. He won’t drink milk or water but will sometimes try juice with a straw.”
After their first day of school, that same child will often have tried a range of new, healthful foods that mummy and daddy wouldn’t have dared to put on their plate! At Happy Bunnies, we believe that healthy eaters become healthy children. That is why our daycare meals are constantly varied, nutritious, and explicitly chosen to encourage positive development.
If you feel a bit nervous about sending your picky child off to nursery school, you’re not alone. However, as experts on childcare and development, we have seen the numerous lifelong benefits of healthy eating during childcare. Please keep reading to learn more about meals at Gillingham’s Number 1 Nursery school and how it leads to fit kids.
Nutrition and Child Development
Due to lack of sleep, the first year of your child’s life can sometimes seem to last a lifetime! However, when you step back to consider it, it’s pretty miraculous how rapidly a baby begins walking, talking, and demanding sweets! Even once milestones get farther apart, brain development and physical development continue.
Food and sleep are like fuel for a growing child. Dietary choices are directly tied to healthy brain development in children. Not only will children who eat nutritious diets be smarter, but they may also demonstrate more positive behaviour!
Healthy Eating and Brain Development
Your child will have brand new, novel experiences every day during early childhood. During this time, their brains will be building synaptic connections that can inform their cognitive abilities for life. Vitamins, minerals, plant nutrients, and healthy fats are all directly tied to brain function in children during this critical stage.
At school, your child will be learning throughout the day. They will need the energy and brain function to retain and access this new learning. A healthy daycare meal ensures they will have the fuel to engage on a deep and meaningful level.
Healthy Eating and Physical Development
In nursery school, learning is also a physical process! Children develop from the core outward. They need to move and play to develop the fine motor skills they will eventually use to draw, write, and use classroom materials.
By feeding their bodies the healthiest food possible, children get the energy they need to participate in these physical tasks. Even sitting up and listening to a story can be a physical challenge for a child with a weaker core. Children who get their energy from food tend to become stronger listeners, artists, writers, and thinkers!
How Children Develop Preferences
It can be amazing to see how picky eaters transform when they sit down for a meal with their friends! A child who sees other children trying new foods is more likely to try them themselves. When eating healthy food is a positive social experience, every child feels safe and comfortable taking small risks at mealtime.
At Happy Bunnies Day Nursery, this is how our children eat every single day!
Why Is Trying New Foods Important?
Children may indeed reject a new food the first time they find it on their plate. This is normal behaviour, but psychologists suggest that children go bolder and more comfortable after several exposures. This is one way children expand their palates and learn to develop their unique preferences for flavours, textures, and cuisines.
When a young child eats the same thing for each meal, they are only exposed to a limited range of nutrients. When they eat a broad range of foods in many colours, they receive all the nutrition they need to grow! When a new food becomes part of your child’s mealtime repertoire, it opens the door for new vitamins and minerals, too.
A willingness to eat various foods can make parenting and social experiences much more straightforward. You won’t need to fuss and prepare your child’s meals before going to a gathering or restaurant. In a new cultural situation, your child may be more open to flavours that may be unfamiliar.
Additionally, enjoying new foods and flavours is a joyful part of life! When your child develops an appreciation for food at an early age, they will pursue these rich opportunities to break bread and share culture with others. Often, this lifelong enjoyment begins with a healthy meal at Happy Bunnies!
How We Feed Our Happy Bunnies
At Happy Bunnies Day Nursery, we feed the children a freshly catered meal daily. We use catering services offered by Zebedees, who specialize in healthy foods for kids. They are freshly prepared and contain every one of the essential food groups necessary for proper development.
Our daycare meals are never deep-fried! Chefs make each meal with low salt and locally sourced produce and ingredients whenever possible. Because our chefs have experience creating child-friendly flavours, it’s not unusual to see our children enjoying international fare from around the world!
A Paediatric Dietician assesses all of our meal plans, so you can be confident that they meet your child’s specific nutritional needs. They comply with all government guidelines, including the Caroline Walker Trust’s Under 5’s guidelines.
The most important thing, however, is that the food is tasty! Your child will never go hungry at school. They may even begin asking for some of their new favourites at home, too.
Healthy Children Eat Healthy Foods at Happy Bunnies
Young, healthy children are constantly growing and changing. They are doing things today that seemed impossible only a week ago! Their palates and tastes are shifting, too, and they deserve a variety of fresh, healthy, and delicious foods as they develop their unique tastes and preferences!
At Happy Bunnies, children eat healthy meals every day, prepared with low salt, fresh ingredients, and local produce. Book a visit today to catch a glimpse of our healthy eaters in action!