Recently we relocated the family from Perth to Sydney and surprisingly our choice of preschool for our son Miles has had the biggest impact on our lives in our new surroundings.
With no family close by Paisley Park Early Learning Centre has become our biggest support network and opened our eyes even more to healthy eating for the family.
Miles has always been an explorative eater but being exposed to a wide variety of foods at Paisley Park has only encouraged him further. He likes to eat more, open to trying more foods – I still can’t believe he loves gherkins and olives – and already can determine if things are ripe, over ripe or not ripe at all.
I’ve come to realise how important it is to encourage children to grow vegetables, get involved with cooking the family meal and even serving up their own dinner to learn portion sizes early on.
This is something Paisley Park Early Learning Centres are embracing, even going as far as getting celebrity chef Miguel Maestre involved to help develop nutritious meal menus for the young ones.
In a climate where parents are struggling with busy schedules cooking a meal together is falling by the way side with many resorting to outsourcing the family meal a few times a week.
I’m not surprised one in five children are overweight today which is a tragedy when all we need to do as parents is to make learning about food fun.
Some tips from Paisley Park Early Learning Centre I’ve taken on board:
- Encourage children to try new flavours and foods all the time.
- Cook a meal together even if it takes twice as long. Children will be more likely to eat something they have made themselves.
- Use proper cutlery and crockery, not plastic ones, even at a young age as it will help children use a knife and fork correctly – surprisingly a quarter of primary school children still do not know how to!
- Let children serve up their own food as it will teach them about portion sizes.
- Talk. Talk about anything and everything at dinner. Keep TV and mobiles devices far away.
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Sara is a mother to Miles who attends Paisley Park Early Learning Centre.