Childhood Nutrition 101


In today's society, children are at a greater risk of shorter life expectancy as a result of long-term health effects caused by obesity. According to Statistics Canada, almost 1 in every 3 Canadians aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese. Obesity in children is largely a result of low activity levels and frequent consumption of fast food and highly processed foods. Parents often find that the answer to a busy schedule and picky eaters is fast food. It's quick, convenient and affordable, however, what some parents may fail to recognize is the lasting negative effects it can have on their children.

Childventures Early Learning Academy, a network of leading childcare centres for preschool and daycare, incorporates a number of practices into their everyday meal activities to ensure children get the best of both worlds - great taste and nutritional benefits their bodies require.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Mind - At Childventures, children receive healthy and nutritional meals which conform to Canada's Food Guide. It is strongly believed that the food a child consumes directly impacts their academic performance. Wholesome foods boost cognitive function and overall health, while fast foods and highly processed foods can actually prevent a complete learning development. All classrooms are stocked with a plethora of fresh fruit, out of which children are encouraged to pick a snack for themselves.

Multicultural Menu - Give your everyday menu a full makeover. Transform your meals by serving an international menu from different parts of the world. Search online for some healthy items and recipes. It can also be very beneficial to involve children in the cooking process. By putting on an apron and allowing them to help cook, children will grow curious and interested in the new dishes.

Role Modeling - Dietary and physical activity behaviours in children are heavily influenced by many groups, including families, friends, child care providers etc. Teachers at Childventures act as role models by encouraging good eating habits within the classroom. Normally when a child says they are hungry, they are simply bored. Create food art by cutting fruits and veggies into shapes and providing a tasty dip to go with it. This will also help with the picky eating syndrome. Another important tip: do not bribe children with rewards of dessert as it will imply that healthy food is unpleasant.

Parents can take these approaches and apply them into their daily routines. It is never too late to make a positive change in a child's life.

About CHILDVENTURES EARLY LEARNING ACADEMY - ChildVentures was founded when Dr. Heidary was unable to find the high level of care he was seeking for his own young child. As a doctor he had read the research showing the importance of the formative early years and he was looking for something better than he found. As busy professionals with full-time careers, he and his wife were seeking a loving place with caring people, qualified educators and caregivers, great programs and curriculums designed to influence neurological development at specific ages, a sequential program of learning at each stage with measurement systems to track progress, a secure, safe, modern environment, beautiful classes and play areas, a fun, child-focused atmosphere that embodies play techniques, a strong nutritional component, teacher-to-child ratios congruent with learning and caring, parental involvement for continued success of the child, modern learning, monitoring and security technology. These are the elements found at ChildVentures in Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Burlington and Ancaster.