Why is healthy eating important?
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Healthy foods provide the fuel our bodies need to function.
Diets that are low in vegetable, fruit and whole grains, as well as diets high in added fat, sugar, sodium, red meat and processed red meat, are related to higher risk of developing conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Children should aim for three balanced meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with healthy snacks in between meals. Healthy snacks are an important part of balanced eating. They can keep energy levels up and prevent you from getting too hungry in between meals.
Why is a variety of foods important for children?
It is important for children to eat a variety of healthy foods each day, as this variety can help ensure children get the whole spectrum of nutrients they need to support health. However, it is normal for some children to have a limited variety of familiar foods. That is why it is important to support children to discover new varieties of foods at their own pace.
Classroom tip: Give children opportunities to see, smell, touch, cook, grow, explore, and try (when ready) a variety of foods through classroom activities and snack programs
The importance of eating breakfast
A healthy and balanced breakfast (one that emphasizes a variety of healthy foods) is needed for learning. Breakfast is an important meal because it breaks the body’s overnight fast and allows it to replenish blood glucose levels. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain. As such, eating breakfast can help improve learning and overall school performance.
Classroom tip: Student nutrition programs are a great way to ensure children come to school fed and ready to learn!