Eating Behaviors and Challenges in Child Care

Infant eating baby food

Feeding young children healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks supports their growth and development. But what can a child care provider do when children suddenly stop eating, or refuse to try new foods, or insist on eating one specific thing for every meal? The following articles address typical changes in young children’s eating habits and food preferences at different ages, and provide some tips for ensuring that children develop healthy attitudes about food.

Meals and Snacks in Child Care

Boy eating snack at picnic table

Meal and snack times in child care can be a great opportunity for introducing new foods and healthy eating habits. Eating times are also a wonderful chance for children to practice self-help skills and learn how to have mealtime conversations. Invite children to talk about their families and pets. Encourage discussions about where foods come from and discuss the colors of different foods. Show children how to set the table and count out silverware, cups and plates. Meal and snack …

Guidelines for Choosing Nutritious Foods for Children in Child Care

Fruits at fruit stand

Child care providers play a key role in preventing childhood obesity by ensuring that children have access to healthy meals and snacks that meet their nutritional needs. The foods that a child care program serve to children can affect their health and well-being, and can influence their lifelong eating habits.

Children’s bodies need a variety of foods daily to get all the nutrients necessary for good health. The following five recommendations will help child care programs plan healthy meals and …