Have parents ever asked you to serve a vegetarian diet to their child? Have you ever wondered if it is healthy for a child to be a vegetarian? Or how to prepare meals to meet their needs? The good news is that a well-planned vegetarian menu can be healthy, delicious, and fit into the Child [Read More]
Parties can be a fun way to celebrate special occasions and holidays! They usually involve decorations, games, and music! They also commonly include cake, ice cream, cookies, and candy. While traditional party foods are okay to serve occasionally, they do not have to be the focus. Birthdays, holidays, and other special events are great [Read More]
Food allergies are increasing at alarming rates. In fact, one in every 13 children has a food allergy—which is about two per U.S. classroom! If you have children in your program with food allergies or intolerances, you know how important it is to prepare and serve safe meals. Having a plan and being prepared will help make sure children feel included and can safely join in meals. Knowing common allergens, reading food labels, and avoiding cross-contact will help prevent an allergic reaction and keep children safe.
Three-year-old Jade only eats white foods: bread, rice, and bananas. Does this sound familiar? If you work in child care, you likely know a child who is cautious, hesitant, or selective in the foods they eat. You are not alone. “Choosy” eating is common for many children as they move from infants to toddlers. Their growth rate slows down, and they become more independent. Rest assured, it is most likely temporary, and there are strategies to help get past this stage without mealtime battles.
Family engagement is a major part of quality child care. It offers opportunities for child care professionals to connect with families and share tools and resources to help improve and model healthy behaviors. There are two key ways to promote family engagement:
- Provide credible resources and information that will help families better understand concepts of nutrition, food preparation, and healthy mealtimes.
- Empower families to be positive role models for healthy behaviors.
Have you ever wanted to plant a garden at your child care program but didn’t know where to start? Or do you have a green thumb but want to engage children in learning more about food, nutrition, and the growing process? This Mealtime Memo provides ideas to get you started.
You may have heard of Farm to Preschool, Farm to Early Childhood, Farm to Early Childcare, or Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE). These terms all refer to the National Farm to School movement. The goal of the National Farm to School movement is to provide fresh, local foods to young children in child care settings. In this Mealtime Memo, we will use the term Farm to Early Care and Education or Farm to ECE.
Children establish food preferences and eating habits early in life. They depend on the adults in their lives to provide nutrition education and experiences to help make healthy food choices. Nutrition education for young children in child care settings has many benefits. It helps:
- Develop positive attitudes about foods.
- Create awareness about the importance of making healthy food choices.
- Offer experiences with healthy foods. Children will be more likely to try new foods and eat them again in the future.
- Allow children to see adults as role models for healthy behaviors.
Time-Saving Meal Preparation Ideas
Delicious, homemade meals can fit into your busy child care day with some planning and the right tools. There are numerous meal preparation and cooking tips and tricks, and finding what works for your program will help speed up the process. To help [Read More]
National Nutrition Month®: Celebrate a World of Flavors
March is National Nutrition Month®, and the theme is “Celebrate a World of Flavors.” Together this means March is the perfect month to be adventurous and start exploring different cuisines to help children [Read More]
February 2022 Mealtime Memo: Cost-Effective Meals: Strategies for Making the Most of Your Food Dollars
Strategies for Making the Most of Your Food Dollars
Serving healthy meals to children on a budget is possible, and choosing more nutritious foods gives you the most value for your dollar. To make sure you are spending wisely, follow these tips as you [Read More]