The Nutrition and Brain Connection

Starting your child on a path to healthy eating and instilling healthy food habits from the very beginning is just as important as how children learn. Parents and those who help care for our children at a daycare in Toronto help shape children’s eating behaviors. Ensuring our children have well-balanced nutritious meals is crucial to a toddler’s development.

How does nutrition affect a toddler’s development?

You may be thinking, what is the direct correlation between our brains and what we eat? Ensuring your child receives a proper diet contributes to various aspects of a child’s overall development, including cognitive, motor, physical growth, and emotional and behavioral development. Every healthy meal’s quantity, quality, timing, and nutrient components will enhance and assist this growth and development. When a toddler experiences a nutritional imbalance, you may notice that they develop negative behavioral and emotional issues that may impair their learning ability and affect their memory.

Setting a good example at home and while in care

It’s important to set good food examples when children are at home and while in the care of others. Taking a preventable approach is crucial to avoid medical conditions, onset diseases and childhood obesity. Making healthy food appealing should be a priority, especially if you have a toddler who is a picky eater or if you are attempting to reprogram them into more nutritious options. While at daycare in Toronto or a Montessori program, like SimplySmart, the staff should also be supportive and loving role models and encourage and make nutritious foods available to children. Along with healthy eating, building in time for physical activity is just as imperative. Children should receive 30-60 minutes of exercise per day. When choosing a childcare center, you want to look for classes where your child’s day includes some sort of indoor or outdoor activity that keeps them moving.

How to make the shift to healthier foods

If you begin adding just a few small healthier changes to your toddler’s diet over time, this will help avoid eating problems and a power struggle you may encounter. Start with limiting sugar. Here’s a tip, instead of ice cream for a snack, give your child a Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is high in protein and is a good source of calcium. Another suggestion is to try pairing a few different items together, like a veggie pita pocket. Take some hummus, spread it in a whole-wheat pita pocket, and throw in some raw vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and carrots.

Why Choose SimplySmart?

At Simply Smart Child Care Center & Montessori, our daycare in Toronto, providers and staff care about your child’s overall development. At our childcare centre, we offer children a fresh lunch and two snacks prepared by the chef on-site at each of our locations. The menus consist of well-balanced meal(s) and are in accordance with and follow the guidelines set by Canada’s Food Guide. Our menus are distributed to parents via the SimplySmart Connect app and posted on the central parent board. We are a nut-free facility and parents must specify allergies at the time of registration.