EYMP3-5.4 Describe methods of educating children and adults in effective food management. It is now accepted that just putting healthy food down on a plate in front of children is not always the best way to help them eat healthy. There are other ways involved in food management.
It is important for carer and for parents to understand how much food a child actually needs over the course of a day. Too much food can cause overweight for children even if it is ‘healthy’, similarly, to lacking food intake can cause children to be underweight. A good plan to help parents know how much food should be given to children is to prepare a table or chart sample for each day’s food and work out its overall calorie content using food labels. It’s helpful to see how much food children of different ages may require rather than just being told how many calories they need. It is also important for carer to be aware that ‘healthy drinks’ such as smoothies and fruit juices can be high in calories and so should be limited.
It is now thought helpful for parents to be advised early by professionals to notice if that their children are either under- or overweight. Interestingly, few parents notice that that their young children are becoming overweight or underweight and often don’t realize it because of the way they think about how cuddly their child are. Parents of children over 3 years old need to realise that children should begin to look quite slim and by the age of 4 years the healthy profile of children is that they should look lean. There are now plenty of websites and leaflets from variety of organisations that can help parents understand what healthy weight is for their children. Using that website to identify if their children’s weight is not at the expected level for their height, it is also important that young children are not made aware of any problems as this can lead to emotional issues with food later in life.
Ideally, food should be enjoyable for children and...
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