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 …

Tips for Child Care Providers to Promote Healthy Attitudes about Food

Toddler eating pear

As children grow and experience new foods, child care providers may notice changes in eating habits or attitudes about certain foods. The following are important tips for child care providers to prevent unhealthy attitudes about food.

  • Accept different levels of food intake. Never force a child to eat. It is normal for children to eat a lot one day and almost nothing the next. If you offer choices from each of the food groups every day, children will adjust and

Typical Eating Behaviors in Young Children

Toddler eating roll

Dealing with eating challenges such as picky eaters and food “strikes” is a common challenge in child care. Remember that children grow at different rates, and their appetites, food preferences and eating habits change as they get older.

When you’re caring for a group of children, how do you know what eating behaviors are typical? Here are some of the most common milestones.

Ages 1-2

  • Has less appetite as growth slows
  • Is weaned from breast or bottle, especially during the