Nannies and Nutrition
Amongst other duties, Nannies are often required to provide and prepare meals for the children and, sometimes, the family. Dependant on your family’s needs, you may be asked to cook a full evening meal or simply pack school lunches and prepare small meals for toddlers. Regardless of the size of the meal or the number of people you are preparing for, making sure your meals and snacks are nutritionally balanced is essential to encourage good nutrition for everyone.
There are several ways you can assist with improving, maintaining and encouraging healthy food choices in your household, including:
- Create Great Food
- Be A Good Example
- Be Educated
Create Great Food
There has never been so much free information on hand for home cooks to create diverse, interesting meals that not only taste amazing but are jam-packed with vegetables, good fats, lean protein, vitamins and minerals. By being creative with your meal ideas and planning ahead, you’ll ensure your charges are both interested in eating the food you prepare, as well as benefiting from its nutritional value.
Be A Good Example
Monkey see monkey do! Your charges look up to you and watch your every move. They are hardly going to listen to your advice on healthy food choices if you’re munching on a Mars Bar and turning your nose up at vegetables. By simply practising what you preach, you’ll find your charges will be much more enthusiastic about trying new foods and ensuring they get enough of what they need.
This is especially important when it comes to food intolerances and allergies. If a child you care for, or one of their close friends that they play with frequently, has an allergy or intolerance to certain foods, it is vital that you are well informed. Education also extends to understanding what kinds of foods the children in your care react to (if applicable) and the additive number and colours you should avoid to limit behaviour issues. Kids are naturally inquisitive and will often ask you ‘why’ a food is better than another – being informed as to the nutritional benefit of good food will arm you with the best answers.
By adopting these strategies to teach and encourage healthy food choices, you not only educate yourself in the world of nutrition but pave the way for a healthier future for the children in your care.