Studies have documented that schedules and routines influence children’s emotional, cognitive, and social development. Predictable and consistent schedules in preschool classrooms help children feel secure and comfortable. Also, schedules and routines help children understand the expectations of the environment and reduce the frequency of behaviour problems, such as tantrums and acts of aggression. Children thrive on routine and knowing what comes next. It gives them security and makes them more settled. It is easier for them to learn because they have boundaries set and they know that they are safe within those boundaries even though they push them every day. Children who have a structured care routine on a daily basis experience a sense of stability and security. The child knows what to expect each day and when to expect it. Activities that were once a struggle, such as nap time, begin to become an easy transition. The hard part may be keeping it flexible enough to meet the varying needs of each child if there is more than one child in the home. Setting a schedule for meals and snacks will help keep the children satisfied through the day and avoid them asking at various hours for food. Children should be encouraged to eat a varied diet. They should eat foods from each of the four main food groups every day. The four main food groups are: • bread, other cereals and potatoes
• fruit and vegetables
• milk and dairy foods, and
• meat, fish and alternatives such as eggs, pulses (peas, beans and lentils) and soya. A varied diet is associated with better health as it is more likely to contain all the nutrients the body needs. It is very important within my setting that we follow the government’s food safety standards when we are giving the children their breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is all in place with all the...