Early childhood educators help children develop good habits early. They can inspire kids to become lifelong learners, teach them how to express themselves, and encourage them to get creative with the help of fun and safe activities.
Early childhood educators also help kids develop another important habit: healthy eating.
As recent studies have shown, obese children and teens are more likely to become obese adults. Part of the reason for this is that many obese adults may have developed poor eating habits at a young age, and eventually those habits were engrained.
Here are some of the ways that current early childhood educators are helping young children break the pattern and develop healthy eating habits early.
A Good Early Childhood Educator Introduces Kids to Healthy New Foods
Kids can be notoriously picky eaters. As a result, introducing them to new foods can be a big challenge.
Fortunately, educators learn a few useful tricks while completing their early childhood educator training program. They know that new foods need to be offered regularly. In fact, some even say a new food should be introduced as many as 10 to 15 times before kids will to try it!
Early childhood educators also know that cutting foods into fun shapes, and giving them inviting names can encourage kids to give them a try.
And, when kids are encouraged to try new and nutritious foods, they’re more likely to discover healthy foods that they enjoy – paving the way for healthy eating habits later in life.
A Professional Early Childhood Educator Models Positive Behaviour
When kids see adults eating their spinach and broccoli, they’re more likely to try them out too.
That’s because kids often mimic the behaviour of the adults they see. Studies have shown that children pick up on adult behaviours, and are often quick to try them out themselves—whether those behaviours are good or bad. If a child sees an adult littering, being rude, or eating junk food, they’re more likely to copy that behaviour themselves.
On the other hand, if kids see positive examples from adult role models, then they’ll try out those good habits instead.
Teach Simple Nutrition Tricks During Your Early Childhood Education Career
If you decide to become and early childhood educator, then you’ll soon learn how to introduce kids to fun new concepts, as well as break down lessons into information that is easy for them to understand.
The complexities of macronutrients vs. micronutrients—or which foods have anti-oxidants and which ones don’t—might be too much for young kids. But, with fun and easy approaches, early childhood educators can teach kids a few simple nutrition tricks.
One way instructors teach kids about a balanced diet is to encourage them to eat 5 to 6 colours every day. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables get their different colours from the nutrients they have. So, by eating a red apple, orange carrots, and yellow peppers, kids add more nutrients to their diet. And of course, this is a fun and easy lesson for them to remember!
What other healthy habits to you want to help kids develop during your early childhood education career?