I had the pleasure of being invited along to a Seminar on Nutrition Nuts & Bolts run by Robin Piggot, Active Families Preschool Coordinator. The seminar included healthy eating tips for under 5s, oral hygiene tips, as well as looking at our own eating habits, and how these affect the people around us.

Healthy Eating for Under 5s

Fuel for the Day by the Heart Foundation was taken by Tanya Jeffcoat. This talked to the kinds of fuel (food) our children need for the day. It also talked to the ‘why?’.

Download the Healthy Eating for Under 5s pdf below. The guide outlines the kind of healthy lunchbox options we should aim to feed our children. There are lots of different options and exact portion sizes, which helps if you haven’t seen or heard any if this before.

And even if you have heard or seen it, the information is golden, click on the picture below:

Healthy Eating for Under 5s-screenshot
Source: Hawke’s Bay District Health Board

Eating habits

Eating Habits and Life Implications was a thorough module. It covers the health and wellbeing of our children. It looks at our eating habits with and around the family. And it asks if these are the habits we want children around us to have?

Are we being the best role models we can be? The ‘how we eat’ is often harder to change than the ‘what we eat’. And this shows up when you try altering your eating habits.

Although this model is aimed at the Early Childhood Education sector, I found the language and steps were relative to my 9 year old daughter.

I was so excited about being given all of this knowledge. And I wanted every parent, those with babies, through to those with teenagers, to have the opportunity to read this information. It all just makes sense and has been compiled to assist the educators who care for our toddlers, infants and children. But the information is useful for all parents, especially the part about how we can stop habits from developing:

  • Support for Mum when she’s pregnant and breastfeeding
  • Involve our kids in food preparation
  • Limit distractions when eating
  • Allow kids to self-select from a variety of foods
  • Role model positive healthy eating habits
  • Encourage responsive eating
  • Encourage mindful eating
  • Encourage children to stop eating when they’re full

To check out the full presentation, click on the picture below:

Eating habits-screenshot
Source: Sport Hawke’s Bay

Lift the lip

The final talk was taken by the New Zealand Dental Association. Here they talked about the best and worst foods we can feed our children to assist in the control of good oral hygiene.

They have a current pre-school check, called ‘Lift The Lip’. Here they can see how well or poorly the teeth, gums and mouth are tracking. This is going to be a bit late for some families of course. The sooner the education begins the better in my opinion.

The Healthy Eating for under 5’s guide above supports oral hygiene as well as what fuel we need to be putting into our little people. You can think of this as fuelling for our future! For more information on oral hygiene, check out 8 ideas for strong, healthy, clean teeth.

I hope that after you read this article, you’ll see how much value this information holds for you, your family, your friends, and the people in your workplace and your community. Please pass this information on if you see value in it, as this is a great way to Pay It Forward to your community.

For more healthy eating tips and recipes, check out our Eating well section.

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Cassandra and her partner Rick live in the sunny Hawkes Bay, with their two beautiful girls. She has a passion for good food and has worked with many top chefs in a range of food roles. Cassandra loves creating great food for her family and friends and also loves to share this love with others.

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