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Chapter 6-Nutrition and Health

1. Well-nourished children feel, act, and learn better than undernourished children.
2. Through food experiences young children learn about their world, their
environment, and themselves.
3. oung children en!oy participating in food experiences.
". The adult is responsible for teaching children about proper nutrition and food
#. $thnic foods can be introduced to young children.
%. &utritionists, medical people, educator, and others recommend a diet low in
sugar, salt, and fats and warn about foods containing caffeine, chocolate,
additives, and foods that may cause allergies or reactions in particular children.
'. (mmuni)ation is the most effective way to prevent many infectious diseases in
*. +ealth of young children includes nutrition, the educational setting,
immuni)ations and a pollutant-free environment.
,. oung children en!oy physical activities, which also help them develop body
(t is agreed and understood that nutrition and health are not curriculum areas and could
easily be part of other chapters .science, social science, or others/0 however, because of
their importance in the learning of young children, they are singled out and addressed
1ome children do not have opportunities to participate in food preparation because
some adults feel time pressure, do not understand the abilities of children, or are
unwilling to involve them. &evertheless, this area offers additional experiences in
becoming independent, in learning about nutrition, in feeling accomplishment and
satisfaction, and in contributing a service.
This chapter is intended to .1/ give an overview of nutrition and its importance to young
children, .2/ discuss the involvement of children in food preparation, .3/ give suggestions
as to how to ma-e eating more en!oyable for children, and ."/ identify some important
health factors for young children.
When malnourished children are mentioned, one commonly pictures children from low-
income homes or impoverished countries. 1ome of these children do come from such
settings0 some parents with limited food budgets lac- good spending -nowledge. 2ut,
some children of the affluent are also malnourished0 some of these parents also lac-
-nowledge as to effective us of their money-they spend freely on !un- foods, do not
consider nutritional value, or fail to plan well-balanced meals.
2asic nutrients to be included in the daily diet are carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals,
vitamins, and water. 3mounts vary according to a person4s age. 5ost nutrition boo-s
give proper amounts, as well as height and weight charts based on body structure.
3 familiar way of identifying daily food re6uirements is the 7yramid 8ood 9roups.
:epartments within the ;.1. government have proposed a nutrition guidance and child
nutrition program, which has been adapted in Table 11.1. The ;.1. :epartment of
3griculture has recently revised the basic four food groups into a 8ood 9uide 7yramid.
&ote the categories and suggested daily amounts in 8igure 11.1.
:ietary guidelines provide for a variety of foods0 a way to maintain ideal weight0
avoidance of fat, sugar, and sodium0 and food with ade6uate starch and fiber.
+umans need a variety of foods to obtain ade6uate nutrition. Their ability to adapt
readily to eating substances that are available in their environment plays a central role in
shaping food-acceptance patterns. Within each culture, people develop individual
patterns of food li-es and disli-es. <epeated exposure enhances children4s acceptance
of foods only when they actually taste the foods .2irch, =ohnson, > 8isher, 1,,#/.
5any child-care professionals understand the need for ade6uate nutrition and the role it
plays in healthy child development.
(t is hoped that most young children eat brea-fast before going to school. ?ately there
has been more focus on brea-fast and school performance and behavior. @hildren who
are hungry are not as alert, often misbehave, and find attention and learning difficult.
When we thin- about treats and snac-s for children, we fre6uently focus on !uice and
coo-ies-may be because of ease in preparation or availability. Ane should note that mot
of the coo-ies available in supermar-ets today are high in fat and that many !uices have
additives and excessive sugar.
Wise choices for children4s snac-s include foods that are nutritious and contain complex
and unprocessed carbohydratesBfresh fruits and vegetables .including !uices/ and
whole-grain products such as breads, cereals, and crac-ers.
$arly experiences with food preparation may lay the foundation for a lifelong habit of
eating nutritious foods. 9ood eating habits are promoted by nutritionists, social
scientist, educators, +ead 1tart 7lanners, classroom teachers, and parents. +ealthy
meals, snac-s and coo-ing experiences have been part of many early-childhood
programs for years. When children become involved in food preparation, they begin
accepting responsibility for their own eating habits and feel a tremendous sense of
personal satisfaction. &ot only can they imitate adult tas-s, but they can also en!oy the
@hildren en!oy the experience of preparing and serving foodBsomething that may not
occur at home. (n serving themselves, they learn that ta-ing a smaller amount of food
and consuming it is more rewarding than overloading their plates and then not being
able to eat it.
When children participate in food activities, teachers should allow time for both planned
and unforeseen occurrences, messes, 6uestions interruptions and results, for this is an
experience where adults and children can learn together.
oung children lac- in literacy, worldliness, and experience. 3s a result, their eating
habits and preferences are influenced by those around them.mainly through parental
purchases and attitudes toward foods/ and other stimulation .television/.
3dults must be careful to purchase nourishing foods because children pic- up food
purchasing and eating habits from adults. To tell a child to eat or not eat a certain food
while the adult does the opposite is poor and ineffectual teaching.
(t has been suggested that a critical period for the formation of food preferences is
between ages 2 and #. The factors that affect the development of food preferences
have been identified as Dfamiliarity .i.e., exposure to food/0 age0 parents0 peers0 teachers
and other significant adults0 and programs that are designed to influence food habitsE
.3lles-White > Welch, 1,*#, pp. 2%#-2%%/. 8ood presented as a reward enhanced the
acceptance and preference for that food item .2irch, Fimmerman, > +ind, 1,*G/.
@ontrast of 9eneral @haracteristics ?in-ed to &utrition
W$??-&A;<(1+$: 7AA<? &A;<(1+$:
8ull of energy ?ethargic
3ttentive 3ttention lags
9ood concentration @oncentration wanes
+appy (rritable
@urious ;ninterested
+ealthy 8re6uent and prolonged illnesses
Herbal, cooperative &onverbal, uncooperative
;sually completes tas-s 8re6uently leaves tas-s
2enefits from school :issatisfied with school
7lays with peers 1olitary play
7ositive correlation of intelligenceI &egative correlation of intelligenceI
?earning ?earning
9ood sleep habits 7oor sleep habits
(n a study of children4s food acceptance at nursery school and then later, 9lasser .1,%"/
found that earlier acceptance of foods does persist and that non-nursery-school
attenders selected sweets more often than former nursery-school children. This study
indicates the importance of creating an atmosphere in which children are encouraged to
try a variety of new and nutritious foods-whether at school or home.
<ecommendations to increase the child4s interest and acceptance of new foods may
include a discussion about the foods when they are introduced0 preparing familiar foods
in difference ways0 repetition of new foods0 behavior at the table .adults eating with the
children, encouraging the tasting of new foods, showing acceptance of the food, and
ac-nowledge sampling/0 and serving familiar and new foods at the same meal .3lles-
White > Welch, 1,*#/.
7reference for a food has a great deal to do with how the food smells. The nose -nows
what the palate may expect. 1ome people are more sensitive to one taste than to
another0 taste varies among people and from time to time, with acuteness being the
lowest !ust after meals and before brea-fast.
Hints for Develoin! Goo" E#tin! H#$its in Yo%n! C&il"ren'
9iven children many opportunities to participate in food experiencesJ
preparing, tasting, shopping growing, cleaning up. These experiences provide
children with a greater opportunity to develop healthy lifetime eating
$ncourage good health habits when preparing and eating food .wash hands,
clean surfaces, use safe tools and sturdy utensils/.
$ngage in interesting conversationBfre6uently initiated by the children.
$at with the children, eat what they are eating, and model the -ind of
behavior you expect from them. (n a positive wayBincluding pleasant facial
expressions and positive conversationBprovide fre6uent exposure to new
foods and encourage .never force/ them to taste the foods.
2a-e rather than fry meats and other items.
$liminate foods that are highly seasoned or have high fat or sugar content.
$ncourage variety in children4s diets. 2e aware of taste, color, and texture
5a-e preparation and eating times pleasant.
1erve a variety of foods.
3llow children to serve themselves, encouraging a portion of each food.
Tal- about difference in the color, taste, and smell of the food as it is coo-ed.
7rovide finger foods.
@hec- each child4s personal records for allergies and prohibitions.

(#)s to En*o%r#!e C&il" P#rti*i#tion +it& Foo"'
+ave a tasting table with fruit or vegetable .carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, cherry
tomatoes, pepper strips/ chun-s. 3 dip could be made from sour cream, cottage
cheese, or yogurt.
+ave a sight andIor touch experienceJ use raw veggies andIor fruit. $ncourage the
children to describe the s-in of the food before they touch it .peach is fu))y, cucumber is
pric-ly, cherry is slic-, s6uash is firm, and so on/. Tal- about the covering of each. +ow
does the touch differ when a food is peeled and unpeeledK Which ones are generally
peeled before eating, and which ones are notK Tal- about where the food is grown
.bush, underground, tree, vine, and so on/.
+ave a smell tableJ 1ee if the children can identify fruit and vegetables by their smell
only. Which ones have strong odors and which have little or no odorK What is the
difference between the smell of raw and coo-ed food .cabbage, for instance/.
Monitorin! S#fet) #n" S#nit#r) Con*erns in C&il" Settin!s'
1. 3void foods that could cause cho-ingJ grapes, popcorn, peanuts, foods
with small bones, and hard candies. @ool coo-ed foods to avoid burned
mouths and tongues.
2. 3void holding foods between "G and 1"G degree 8 for extended period of
3. 7lan carefully for supervision and classroom coo-ing experienceJ
sanitation, heat, utensils, cords, sharps tools, and so on. &$H$< ?$3H$
3 @?311<AA5 @AAL(&9 $M7$<($&@$ ;&3TT$&:$:.
The +ealth of young children is not an isolated or unimportant factor0 (t is important to
note that the integration of hereditary and environmental influences, attitudes and
actions, and opportunities and deprivations will have a bearing on their health.
1trong bodies can be strengthened or wea-ened, as can wea- bodies. The genetics of
the child sets limits for her potential, but external forces .disease, pollution, poverty, and
so on/ influence the child4s attainment.
(t is during the early developing years that children adopt models, establish patterns, and
set goals. 3dults who interact with these children have the responsibility and opportunity
to influence them in happy, healthful, and productive ways by planning activities to
increase and encourage physical development.see 9abbard > ?e2lanc, 1,*%/0 being
aware of and preventing harmful environmental effects .see &oyes, 1,*'/0 reducing
disease through research, immuni)ation, and education .see 3ronson, 1,,1/0 and
increasing their awareness of harmful agents and activities .see ?as-y > $ichelberger,
1. 5a-e a list of foods typical of your area, such as fruit, vegetables, meat, and
seafood. Tell how you could utili)e each of these in your center.
2. :esign a lesson plan based on nutrition. ;se it in your center.
These topics are provided for teachers to use to give stimulation to the classroom while
focusing on the interests and needs of their students. They can also be used
successfully in webbing concepts of depth and breadth.
o @are of animals
o &ames of young and adult animals
o &ames of male and female animals
o Where and how animals live
o +ow animals help people
o @overings .1hell, fur, feathers/
o 7roducts obtained from animals
o 9ood pets
o Wild 3nimals
o @ircus animal
o @haracteristics of animals
o &ames of birds
o 1ounds made by birds
o Where birds live
o +ow birds feed their young
o +ow birds help people .beauty, sound, eating insects/
o Linds of nests
o Linds of eggs birds lay .color, si)e/
o @haracteristics of birds
o +abits of birds.nesting, migrations/
o 9rouping .vehicles, food, animals, birds, clothing, furniture, persons, buildings,
toys, plants, containers, appliances, things to write with, and building, garden, or
household tools./
o 5ultiple classification .things that can be classed in more than one category/
o Ways to help discriminate between categories .senses, experiences/
o Why categories are useful and helpful.
T&e C&il"ren
o ?earning one4s own name and worth
o ?earning names of other children, teachers, nurse, others
o Where to hang clothing
o 1elf-confidence
o 9ood self-image
o 7arts of the body
o @omplying with re6uests
o 1elf-mastery and control
o &ames of garments
o 1easons for wearing different types of clothing
o 1e6uence for putting on clothing
o Types of fabrics .cotton, wool, leather, plastic/
o @lothing for different occasions .play, party, sleeping/
o :ifferent types of fasteners on clothing .)ippers, buttons, snaps/
o ;ses of certain pieces of clothing .shoes, hats/
o @olor or patterning in clothing .printed, woven/
o ?earning to dress and undress dolls
o &ames of the primary and secondary colors
o +ow various colors are made
o 1hades of the same color
o +ow various colors ma-e you feel
o ;ses of colors.for example, red for danger/
o @olors of specific ob!ects .fruits, vehicles, animals/
o 7hysical and verbal communication
o ?earning about different languages
o :ifferent forms of communication .radio, television, newspaper, boo-s,
o 7roper names of people, places, and things so that we understand meanings.
o +ow some animals help carry messages .dogs, pigeons/
o ?earning to recogni)e ob!ects from verbal descriptions only
o Telling something interesting about oneself or an activity
o ?earning to follow simple directions
T&e Co,,%nit)
o ?ocations within the community
o Linds of buildings, industries, par-s, highways
o <ecogni)ing community landmar-s
o :ifferent communities
Co,,%nit) Helers
o 8irefighter, police officer, letter carrier, doctor, nurse, dentist, ba-er, mil- carrier,
grocer, merchant, miner, farmer, fisher .places of wor-, activities, services/
o +ow community helpers wor- together
o <ecogni)ing community helpers by uniforms or clothing
o ?earning names and relationships by comparing two things.biggestIsmallest,
hottestIcoldest, heaviestIlightest, biggerIsmaller, fatterIs-innier, tallerIshorter, too
loudItoo soft, too longItoo short/
o ?earning names and relationships by comparing more than two things .big,
bigger, biggest, short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, longest/
o ?earning that one ob!ect can be big when compared to some things and small
when compared to others
o The concept of middle
o Ardinal .first, second, third/ and cardinal .1,2,3/ numbers
o ?earning opposites through comparisons .soft, rough/
D#)s of t&e (ee-
o &ames of the days of the wee-
o Why days have special names
o 1e6uence of the days
o 3ctivities for certain days .for example, 1aturday or 1unday/
o ?earning about the calendar .days, wee-s, months/
o @haracteristics of the community .la-es, mountains/
o What pollution is and how to help prevent it
o &atural resources .coal, gas, oil/
o @onservation of natural resources .forest, water/
o <ecycling .water, paper, metalG
o +ow to respect public property
o ?earning what a family is
o ?earning the immediate family .mother, father, sister, brother, baby/
o ?earning the extended family .aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents/
o What families do together
o :ifferent !obs and responsibilities of family members
o 8riends and their names
o ?earning about people .physical characteristics, abilities, li-es, and so on/
o +ow to entertain guests
o +ow to get along with family members
o 9ood social techni6ues
o &ames of various foods
o Tasting various foods
o ?earning about taste .sweet, sour, salty, bitter/
o 7reparing food in a variety of ways
o 7lant parts used as food .roots, stal-, flower/
o Things that loo- ali-e but taste different .salt, sugar, ba-ing soda/
o 8ood consumed by animals
o 7reparing for and participating in lunch or snac-
o 9ood diet .pyramid group/
o Where food products come from .animals, farms and gardens, factories/
o Ways of preparing food .raw, boiled, ba-ed/
o ?earning when food is unripe, ripe, and overripe
o Things not to be eaten .poisons, medicines/
Gro+in! T&in!s
o &ames of common flowers and plants
o +ow to care for plants
o :ifferent things that plants grow from .bulb, seed, starts/
o 7arts of the plant .root, stal-, vine, leaf, flower/
o 7arts of plants that are edible .root-carrot, turnip0 head-lettuce, cabbage0 stal--
o 1i)es and -inds of seeds
o ?ength of growing time .for example, rapid for grass and beans0 more slowly for
corn and s6uash/
o 8ruits grown on trees
o Things needed for growth .sunlight, water, warmth/
o 8ood that grows above and below the ground
o 9rowing things that are not edible
o 1toring fruit and vegetables
o Why food is washed or cleaned before eating
o 9rowing things for beauty .shrubs, trees, flowers/ and consumption .fruit,
He#lt& #n" Cle#nliness
o +ow to clean various body parts .hair, nails, s-in, teeth/
o <easons for -eeping clean and healthy
o +ow to -eep healthy .exercise, rest, clothing/
o 7roper diet
o 7oisonous plants
o 7rofessional people who help us
o &ames of holidays
o 3ctivities uni6ue to holidays
o (mportance of holidays to children .birthdays, religious holidays, national, cultural,
local, and other important days. . see also chapter 1G/
o Which holidays come during which seasons
o 8amily customs for various holidays
o &ational, religious, cultural, and personal holidays of self and others
o 7reparing for and participating in child-centered holiday activities
o Where each child lives
o What a house loo-s li-e .inside and out/
o :ifferent types of homes in the community
o @are of home .inside and out/
o +ousehold e6uipment and appliances .brushes, mixers, and so on/
o <epair and building tools
o +omes in other countries or areas
o 8urnishing rooms
o 2uilding materials
o Hisiting a home or apartment
o 7erforming tas-s
o 5atching animals .mother and young/
o @ategori)ing what is sold in a specific type of store
o 1electing a type of store for a certain item
o Things that belong together .for- and spoon, hat and coat, shoe and soc-/
o +ow to recogni)e something by one or more of the senses
o +ow to group ob!ects with similar characteristics .color, material, shape/
o +ow to distinguish between ob!ects
o 5achines for the home or for industryJ how they wor- and what their function is
o ?earning to operate machines .mixer, eggbeater, gears/
o +ow machines ma-e wor- easier
o &ames of different building materials .bric-, wood, fiber glass, cement, steel,
cinder bloc-s/
o &ames and uses of materials .metal, glass, plaster, paper, cardboard, cloth
fabrics, leather, rubber, foil/
o 8abrics .waterproof, resilient, inexpensive/
o +ow to count using familiar things .children, bloc-, crac-ers, clapping/
o @ounting similar and dissimilar ob!ects
o <ecogni)ing written symbols
o ?earning about parts .fractions/ of the whole .for example, a wheel is part of a
o $xploring with unit bloc-s .using different shapes and numbers to ma-e other
o 5a-ing things e6ual
o ?earning to tell different things by their number .phone, sport participant, house,
o 2uying by weight, si)e, amount
o 5athematical terms .more, less, how many/
o 1inging songs
o 7laying and listening to records and tapes
o &ames and uses of musical instruments
o Ways of ma-ing sounds
o @lasses of instruments .wind, percussion, string/
o :ifferent ways music ma-es us feel
o ?earning to participate with music
o :iscovering rhythm in everyday life .cloc-s, water dripping, wal-ingG
o Abserving different instruments being played
o (mitating music or movement in nature .trees, animals, water/
o &ames of parts of an ob!ect .for example, a pencil has a point, lead, a shaft, and
an eraser/
o :ifferent materials used to ma-e same or different ob!ects
o 1pecific uses of different ob!ects .spoon, screwdriver, belt/
o (dentifying ob!ects through one or more of the senses
o &aming several ob!ects used for the same purpose .for example those that hold
water or improve surroundings/
o ?earning opposites .bigIlittle, fatIs-inny, loudIsoft, hotIcold, longIshort, fastIslow,
wetIdry, smoothIrough, tallIshort, dar-Ilight/
o @ombining opposites .big, rough, and dar-/
o :iscrimination .an ob!ect may be big compared to some things and small
compared to others/
o ?earning about different patterns .stripped, flowered, pol-a-dot, plaid, plain,
o ?earning whether the pattern is woven into fabric or printed
o @reating one4s own patterns using art materials
o +ow pattern .shapes/ are combined in environment
Pi#!eti#n Con*ets
o @onservation of volume or substance
o <eversibility .water to ice to water/
o Weight of ob!ects .in hand or scale/
o +ow ob!ects can be grouped in a variety of ways .color, shape, si)e, material/
o :iscovering that learning is enhanced through the senses and movement
.sensorimotor s-ills/
o <egular plurals .formed by adding s or es/
o (rregular plurals .footIfeet, childIchildren, manImen, toothIteeth, mouseImice,
o Terms used for more than one of an ob!ect .many, few, group, some/
o When one ob!ect is called a DpairE .scissors, glasses, pants/
o &ames and relationship of various prepositions .in, on, over, under, next to, in
front of, in bac- of, inside, outside, between/
o +ow to carry out simple commands
o ;sing one4s body in space to learn prepositions .obstacle course/
T&e Pres*&ool
o ?abels for materials and ob!ects in the room
o 1torage place for toys
o 7laces for certain activities
o ?earning about adults and children
o ?imits, responsibilities, and privileges
o ?earning routine
o Times and places to be careful .roads, around water/
o +ow to prevent accidents
o @are of in!uries
o 7rofessional people who help us
o 1afety at school and home
o <easons for limits under different circumstances
o ;sing tools and materials
o 5agnets
o 5agnifying glasses
o +ow to measure
o +eat and how it changes various things
o ?ight and prisms
o +eavy and light ob!ects
o ?i6uids, solids, and gases
o 7hysical science
o 1ocial science
o 7roducing and preparing food
o Wor-ing with levers
o 2iological science
o :iscovering things about community, nation, and universe
o +ow to get along with others
o &aming the seasons and characteristics of each season
o What people do during different seasons
o What people wear during different seasons
o +ow seasons affect families, animals, and plants
o (dentifying different seasons from pictures
o &ames of shapes .s6uare, circle, triangle, rectangle, oval, diamond, trape)oid/
o ;ses of different shapes
o ?oo-ing for various shapes in the room
o :iscussing shapes in our daily lives
o Why certain things are the shapes they are .for example, a wheel/
o +ow various shapes are formed .two semicircle ma-e a circleJ two triangles, a
o +ow similar ob!ects .leaves, flowers/ are different shapes
o 5a-ing an original design using a variety of shapes .an art pro!ect or
manipulative experience, for example/
o @haracteristics of various shapes .a triangle has three corners0 the lines in a
s6uare are the same length/
o ?istening for sounds in everyday life
o :istinguishing things by sound only
o :ifferences in sound .high or low, loud or soft/
o :ifferent ways of ma-ing sounds
o 5a-ing sounds of animals
o 5a-ing sounds of transportation vehicles
o 5a-ing sounds that express different emotions
o 1aying rhyming words
o Terms used with heat .hotIwarm, coldIcool, hotIcold/
o Temperature and the seasons
o Temperature and heat in coo-ing
o +ow a thermometer registers heat or cold
o ?earning about the present, past, and future .may be difficult to grasp/
o 1e6uence .before and after/
o Ways to tell time .cloc-, sun, sundial/
o Things to do in daylight and in the dar-
o &ames of -inds of transportation .boat, airplane, bus, train, automobile/
o Ways transportation wor-s
o What different vehicles carry and how it feels to ride in each
o ?earning about vehicles
o Wheels and how they wor-
o Transportation in air .airplanes, balloons, helicopters/0 in water .boats,
submarines, ferries/0 on land .cars, truc-s, buses/0 and underground .subways/
o 3nimals used for transportation .horse, camel, elephant/
o 3nimals used for carrying