Monday, June 25, 2012

Importance of Healthy Eating from a Young Start

For the last four years I have run an in-home childcare as my primary base of income. I myself am a pretty picky eater (see my story on food) so of course I don't feel right feeding the children I work with  food that is bad for them. I would feel horrible to contribute to cavities, bad eating habits and weight issues down the road. The children in my care are great eaters and there is good reason for that.

I don't buy sweets and I don't make them often, so offering them these things are impossible. When we have birthday parties we like to have party favors, pineapple and make mini pizzas rather than get cupcakes. The children here are very accustomed to the diet here and we never have problems with children not eating their vegetables and fruits. I rarely cook veggies for the kids and I think this helps, I didn't like cooked vegetables when I was a kid, so why would they? I also do not serve "ranch" or other dressings with the veggies, and my children love and ask for more of fresh broccoli, red cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, and snap peas.

Since meat is risky to cook I prefer not to deal with it, instead the kids get beans, eggs, cheese and yogurt for protein. This works fine for us because I have had vegetarians in the past and I advertise as vegetarian since I know kids are getting it at home from their parents. At the moment I do not have any children with any specific diet needs, in the past I have had client who were sugar free (which I do anyway), gluten free, dairy free, nut free and so many more. Being accommodating to these needs I believe helps my business and clients appreciate knowing their children are eating well and healthy at my home.

I also grow a garden with the children, get them involved in cooking and preparing food. Since kids are such picky eaters getting them involved in the process gets them excited about the food they are trying.  You will find some of my recipes are "child assisted and approved" which means they helped make it, and they ATE IT!!! We use our own produce as often as possible and we have chickens that lay eggs too. Being reliant on our own land saves us a lot of money, helps our business leave less of a carbon footprint, and we are happy knowing we give the children nutritious organic local food to eat.

See more stories about the kids and gardening:

See more stories about meals prepared by children:

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