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Importance of Healthy Eating Habits in Early Childhood Development

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Added on  2019-09-22

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This article discusses the importance of healthy eating habits in early childhood development. It covers topics such as creating enjoyable mealtimes and snacks in a child care program, checking food labels, and understanding the guidelines offered by Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. It also provides tips for serving nutritious meals to children, managing allergies, and following the code of ethics for early childhood professionals.
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CHCECE004Australia, despite being the fifth fittest nation across the world, is currently experiencing serious healthrisks due to the unhealthy eating habits of the citizens. The report of Australian Institute of Health andWelfare indicates that the Australians have the tendency to consume foods which are rich in fat(Jean,2018). The report also indicates that the Australians do not consume adequate cereals, fruits andvegetables. Australia’s Food and Nutrition 2012 report also shows that the consumption of milk, animalfats, alcohol and sweeteners is higher than world average among the Australians (Jean, 2018). The fruitsand vegetables are the key source of dietary fiber. As the Australians are consuming these items less,there is a shortage in total fiber consumption as well.Reference:Jean, P. (2018). It's official: We eat too much. Retrieved from the day a baby is born until it reaches adulthood, its protein needs are significantly higher per pound of body weight than an adult needs. Why? The body is growing, developing, and demanding lots of nutrients to get these jobs done. Proteins are also necessary and unique components, including hormones and enzymatic proteins, critical for the developing brain and immune system and the growth of the body’s supporting structures (muscle, collagen, hair).The growth needs alone are significant. A baby’s weight doubles by five months and quadruples by two years. On average, height doubles by three or four years. During childhood, growth is slower and steadier than in infancy, with weight increasing four to seven pounds, and height by a couple inches per year. Most girls reach adult height during the early high school years, and boys typically reach their adultheight as they are leaving high school.The protein among the young children is needed for enhancing the growth and development. Theprotein is also needed to ensure secretion of hormones and other critical components (,2018). The need of protein is significantly dependent on the age and body weight of the children. As achild grows older, the growth rate reduces and so, the need of protein intake also reduces. However,the need of protein is significantly dependent on personal needs also. Among children from one to threeyears, protein typically constitutes five to twenty percent of total calorie (2018). Getting Childhood off to a Strong Start with Protein. Retrieved from enjoyable mealtimes and snacks in a child care program will help young children learn health eating habits and develop positive attitudes toward food. Consider the following tips to make the meal experience positive for children in your child care program.
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The mealtimes can be utilized effectively to teach the children self-help skills. The mealtimes are alsoeffective to give the children with the scope to socialize (, 2018). During themealtime, the children can be encouraged to develop the healthy habits. The children can feel morerelaxed and comfortable if elders share the same meal and spend the mealtime in positive conversation.The children can be involved to some tasks such as setting the table or serving the food. It can help thechildren to increase their self-confidence. Finally, the children should get the scope to spend themealtime with other members of family so that the social learning skill develops among them. (2018). Make Mealtimes in Child Care Pleasant, Easy and Appealing - eXtension.Retrieved from feeding the children, checking the food labels is necessary. The food labels contain necessaryinformation on the product and so, it indicates whether the particular food is suitable for beingconsumed by the child or not (Raising Children Network, 2018). Before providing the child with a fooditem, being aware of the nutritional value is necessary. The nutritional information panel in the labeltypically contains information on the ingredients, additives, key nutrients present in the item along withamount. The food label also provides information on the manufacturer and storage information for theitem to maintain the quality.Reference:Raising Children Network. (2018). Food labels: nutritional information and ingredients. Retrieved from On a single day, the children should be served with three key meals including breakfast, lunch and theafternoon snacks. The meal should include the items described below –Breakfast -- Oatmeal/ Toast, any fruit such as oranges, banana or peach and milkThe meals should contain all the nutrients in balanced manner (, 2018). TheOatmeal and toast is selected as they are good sources of carbohydrate and fiber. The fruits are rich invitamins and minerals which are crucial for growth and development for children. The milk is anothersource of protein, fat and vitamins. So, It is also included to the breakfast.Lunch – Sandwich with cheese and chicken/ rice and chicken, vegetables such as beans, pea andcarrot, any fruit juice such as apple juice or grape juice.The lunch needs to be heavy and it also needs to contain the sources of carbohydrate, fiber, protein, fatand vitamin. The sandwich or rice can provide the children with adequate carbohydrate. The chickencontains high amount of protein. The vegetables offer high amount of minerals, vitamins and fiber. Thefruit juice is a source of vitamins and minerals. The children prefer colorful foods. Combining the green
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