Importance of Early Eating Patterns
What we eat plays a great role in determining our health, no matter what our age is. In the same way, eating patterns set in the early years of life affect children’s health during childhood and adulthood. At Little Spanish Garden encouraging healthy nutrition during the early years is thus an investment in the future health of our children. Poor eating patterns during these years may increase the risk of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases. After birth, brain growth depends crucially on the quality of a child’s nutrition; Breast milk provides the perfect balance of nutrients for stimulating brain growth. Bottle-fed infants should be given a formula that contains iron. By the age of 6 months plus, infants are required to start their first foods. They need to be fed frequently and in sufficient quantities all through the day, and their meals should contain items from various food groups. Intake of sugary foods and drinks should be limited or not at all. Furthermore, intake of sugary and processed foods can lead to inflammation throughout the brain and body, hence contributing to mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
At Little Spanish Garden we pride ourselves to provide natural fruits and vegetables which are a good substitute for unhealthy, processed, salty, or sugary snacks. Dairy alternatives, fiber-rich foods, and whole nuts are usually not suitable for children in their early years. Leafy green vegetables, eggs, milk, and meat are found to be fruitful for brain development in children as they are a rich source of iron. Young children require extra calories from fat to develop and grow, it is at times recomended that we avoid low-fat products unless further recommended by a parent request and or pediatrician. Overcooked vegetables as well as canned products should be avoided as both reduce the vitamin content of foods. In a nutshell, eating patterns in the early years play a great role in determining the physical and mental development of a child. At Little Spanish Garden our daily menu provides adequate nutrition with a balance of all nutrients to support our mission; to prepare our children for greatness!
Elizabeth Brooks and Team LSG