Nutrition is an essential element in any preschool and it's not something new to the parents in Dubai. Healthy, active, and nourished children attending Nursery Schools in Dubai are more likely to be well prepared, alert and motivated to learn as opposed to preschoolers who do not follow a healthy nutritional diet. The primary responsibility of a Preschool Nursery in Dubai is not only to foster academic achievement, but also plays a part in guiding preschoolers towards a healthier lifestyle by creating a healthy nutritional environment.
The preschool environment should encourage all children to make healthy eating choices and be physically active throughout the school day. However, Nurseries in Dubai cannot be held liable for the health eating habits of their preschoolers, if the meals are brought from home. The school will try as much as possible to encourage children to eat healthy and serve healthy meals and snacks,
However, if you know a preschooler, you know that their eating habits are unpredictable and unusual. Often there is a struggle between parents and preschooler about what they want packed in their lunch boxes and what they want to eat as opposed to a healthy meal or snack served at the school. Also, some parents may insist on sending their child's meals as opposed to what is served at the school.
In order, to make sure your child has the healthy nutrition they need, here are a few tips to assist a parent in meal/snack planning and food selection.
- Pack a small portion.
- Provide water instead of juice or milk, so your preschooler will be hungry at mealtime
- Try to pack food that is low in fat or has healthy fats such as avocado, nuts or olives.
- Introduce your preschooler to new foods and recipes.
- Try to provide your preschooler with food that is balanced, varied and tasty. Include foods from all the food groups.
- Sometime children will not eat fruits and vegetables the way it is presented so get creative and try to make your child lunch box a work of art.
Some health snack and meals include, cereal, bagels with spread or jam, juice, fruit, raisins, dried apricots, whole grain fig bars, vanilla wafers, animal crackers, pretzels, plain popcorn, tortillas with low fat cheese or peanut butter, carrots or cut raw vegetables, homemade pizzas made with a light salad .
Remember never to force a preschooler to try every food or clean their plates as this can be harmful to a child’s future relationship with food. Instead, get them involved in the meal making process to try new textures and tastes, and then packing a meal or snack to school will not be such difficult.
Schools should implement a strong nutrition standards for meals and snacks , especially for those that are brought from home, to overcome challenges and support strong nutrition standards in the school.