I am lucky enough to have Michelle as my guest today. She speaks on the benefits of eating healthy which is a priority in my home. Life has been hectic so having a wonderful blogger visit for the day is a warm welcome! Thanks Michelle!
With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter.
One of the most important aspects to providing quality childcare is making sure that the children are served a variety of nutritious foods throughout the day. Although there is nothing wrong with occasionally using the microwave to prepare a side dish or two, if your caregiver is consistently warming up prepared and prepackaged meals and serving them to the kids, you may want keep a careful eye out and encourage your caregiver to prepare a more diversified menu.
Cut Back on Processed Goods – If they aren’t in the house, your kids won’t eat them. If you’re trying to make mealtime easy for your caregiver, consider preparing extras at dinner so they can be warmed and served up at lunch. What you made the night before is likely to be far more nutritional than any boxed microwavable prepared meal.
Buy More Vegetables – If your nanny is handy with a spice rack, even the most unattractive of veggies can turn into a work of art. There is a multitude of ways that vegetables can be prepared to make them palatable for kids. Serve up some dipping sauce with them or sprinkle with cheese for starters. Vegetables such as spinach can provide everything from immunity boosting aspects to higher brain function and increased energy levels. Encourage the kids to try veggies both raw and cooked and to vote on which way they’re liked better.
Add in More Lean Proteins – When considering meat options for kids remember that the leaner the meat, the better. Served sliced chicken breast or turkey on whole wheat bread topped with lettuce and tomato for a powerfully packed lunch. For kids who don’t like sandwiches, simply cut up the meat and let the kids use a fork to pick it up.
Try a Variety of Pastas – Many pastas contain a high amount of complex carbohydrates. For a child, the body uses these carbs for energy. An active child could eat pasta regularly and not gain weight as the energy is easily burned up. However, inactivity could result in those carbs becoming more of a physical hindrance. A great deal of health benefits can come from a well-made pasta dish in the form of using fresh vegetables and herbs. In fact, many households include spinach within lasagna. If your children are somewhat inactive or otherwise don’t get a lot of physical activity, it may be better that pasta dishes are prepared sparingly.
Trade Big Plates for Little Ones – Does your nanny understand the need for proper portion control when preparing meals? Covering a plate with various foods whether healthy or not may be more food than any person should eat, let alone the children. Portions need to be properly measured for children and adults in order to avoid overeating and storing excess fats that your body doesn’t utilize immediately. Remember a child’s stomach is only about as big as her fist.
The microwave can be an invaluable tool when it comes to heating up meals, but when it’s the primary tool for preparing processed foods it can turn into an unhealthy habit. Encourage your caregiver to serve healthy meals for your children and provide her with the foods and tools she needs to do so easily.