Learn About our Food Program!
Food is a fascinating topic. Although we know much more about nutrition and diet than we did even ten years ago, there is still an aura of confusion. But certain things remain true. We must eat whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to help our good gut bacteria do their work. We must limit our consumption of processed foods. We must eat diversified foods that give us enough energy to focus, learn, and grow.
Nutrition is incredibly important, especially for young children. Eating healthy food options not only helps children grow and be able to do everything they want but also sets up healthy eating habits for the future. This is why we have placed great emphasis on continuing to develop our food program and modifying it based on current research. Our food program is unique and integral to how we operate, thus it became one of our Core Values, Healthy & Holistic Impact. Are you a new parent curious about our food program? Are you a parent wanting to learn more about nutrition? Or are you a current parent wanting to know more? Then this blog post is perfect for you!
Importance of Nutrition for Healthy Development
Although we, as adults, have a good sense of what a balanced diet looks like, children will often be distracted by tasty treats with their favorite cartoon on the packaging. However, they are usually filled with higher sugar, fat, or sodium content. Unhealthy eating habits can be life-threatening and very difficult to change as they grow.
Young children’s bodies change rapidly in their first couple years of life. The necessary foods required at certain developmental stages are also changing. Frequent doctor’s visits are the best way to understand how your child is doing physically and get detailed information regarding their special needs. Good nutrition will help your child’s brain/physical development, allow them to focus, and retain the constant influx of information from new experiences. The benefits of nutrition can be seen externally, but internally good things are also happening. Young children have more sensitive intestines; that is why fruits, vegetables, and preservative-free meals are the best for preventing irritation and keeping cell walls intact. Additionally, healthy eating habits can help reduce the risk of developing diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease as we age.
What do we Offer at Casa?
Our number one priority is the health of all the children at Casa, and that includes keeping them healthy through nutrition. Our balanced meals are reviewed monthly to ensure that we are giving children the best options. You will notice that with our food program we offer:
- Fresh and whole ingredients in every meal.
- Meals cooked on site every day.
- Wholesome meals that include protein, whole grains, and calcium.
- Hormone-free milk and meats.
- Organic ingredients.
- Additive-free baby food that is pureed on site.
- Solid foods for infants upon parent approval.
- Local ingredients from partnerships with local farms.
- Unique menu items to honor our commitment to interculturality.
- Commitment to sustainability by composting uneaten food.
- Plant-based meat alternatives.
- Meals free from the top allergens.
How can you introduce healthy eating habits at home?
Healthy nutrition is always a work in progress. We hope that through this blog post you feel encouraged to learn more about the food you and your family are consuming. A lot of things can be done at home to support your child’s eating habits at Casa.
If your child is picky, do not be discouraged when they do not eat their vegetables. The most important thing to remember is that consistency is key. Touching, playing, or small tastes all count towards the goal of getting them to eat more vegetables. Always introduce but never force, as this might lead to increased resistance.
If your child does not want to let go of fruit juice, start to dilute it with water over a period of time. Fruit juice is the largest culprit in childhood obesity, diabetes, and inappropriate weight gain. Diluting fruit juice with water will not only get them to crave it less but will also help keep them well hydrated!
Remember, healthy nutrition is an ever changing journey that we need to learn from!