Can the food your child eats in day care or school have an impact on their overall nutritional well-being? Absolutely! Quality nutrition is crucial in the early years and there is no shortage of evidence to support the idea that kids who eat right are better equipped to grow and thrive.
In a study recently published in Public Health Nutrition, the diet quality of Canadian children during school hours was examined between 2004 and 2015. Although a modest improvement was observed in this 11-year period, the average quality of foods consumed in school settings remained below national dietary recommendations. These findings were similar across a variety of sociodemographic factors. The results highlight an important opportunity to promote healthier diets among Canadian children by increasing access to and consumption of healthy foods, specifically dark green and orange produce, whole grains, and milk products.
What is Wholesome Kids Doing to Help?
Our expert team is skilled at developing and executing menus that offer children a variety of nutritious foods each day. The positive eating environment created with their educators and peers is a great space to encourage kids to explore food and develop healthy habits together.
Green and Orange
- We prepare meals with plenty of nutrient-dense produce, including carrots, pumpkin, and cantaloupe, as well as broccoli, green beans, romaine and spinach. We love these rich sources of vitamin A and folate for their roles in eye health, growth, and metabolism! Have you tried our garden vegetable and bean soup served with whole wheat mini pitas, a leafy green salad, and fresh fruit?
- With a menu packed with whole grains, including whole wheat, spelt, brown rice and corn, kids can enjoy these fibre-rich foods at lunch and snack time and reap their benefits for heart health, while keeping them satisfied all day. They can’t get enough of our whole wheat muffins and loaves!
- Throughout the week, we serve fresh Ontario milk, Canadian-sourced cheeses, and yogurts that provide calcium and vitamin D to help support strong muscles, bones, and teeth. Who can say no to a deliciously creamy yogurt with crunchy pumpkin granola?
What Can You Do at Home?
If you’re looking for a great place to start, check out this Canada’s Food Guide Snapshot for a great visual tool! Remember, kids who are offered nutritious foods throughout the day and given ownership over their intake from a young age will discover what healthy eating looks like for them and be well on their way toward balanced nutrition.