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Children and the importance of a healthy diet

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Planning for the food provision for children under five years of age.
    1. Basic nutritional needs of preschool children.
    2. Small frequent meals and snacks.
  3. Encouragement to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  4. As personal experience.
  5. The effect of nutrition on children's emotional and mental well-being.
    1. High energy requirements among children.
  6. The problem of obesity.
    1. Obesity and an underlying medical problem.
    2. Appropriate school lunches and snacks.
    3. Advising parents and children.
  7. Family meal :Children's mental and physical well-being.
  8. The implementation of the government initiatives.
  9. Conclusion.
  10. Bibliography.

The aim of this essay is to create a body of knowledge for a follow-on research on the subject of the nutritional health needs of children from 3 to 5. For this purpose, information was gathered through observations as well as through study and analysis of materials presented in books, research journals, and professional publications so as to identify the role of healthy school lunches in preventing obesity in young children and to determine the appropriate strategies provided by the support mechanism and multi-agencies within a context of an early years setting. Nutrition during early childhood is essential for growth and development, health and well-being of young children. Furthermore, early food experiences have an important impact on eating patterns in adult life and contribute to long-term health and chronic disease risk."A healthy diet is vital for growth and development. While it can sometimes seem that children don't like anything 'good for them', healthy habits do start young - and, reassuringly, will be remembered in later years." (Burney, 1997: 36)

[...] Jacobson, M., (2000) Food Affects Mothering, July-August, pp48- 52 Holt,K,, Sofka, D (2002) Bright Futures in Practice: Nutrition. 2nd Edition, Arlington Perry Story Lytle L Promoting healthy dietary behaviours. PANN: Cheltenham Piercy, H., Hargate, M. (2004) Social Research on the under-16s, Journal of Child Health Care, Dec Vol.8, No pp. 253-263. Strasburger, V Children and TV advertising: nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Journal of Development and Behaviour, vol. 22:185-187 Thompson, C.Shelly, E. (2003) Overcoming Child Obesity, Bull Publishing Tansey, G. & Worsley, T. (1999) The Food System: A Guide, Earthscan Publications Limited: Bristol White, [...]

[...] The researched argues that ?malnourished children are less likely to repel otherwise preventable infections and diseases, because their immune systems are weakened by deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals.? (Griggs and Van Straten, 2001: 97) Nutrition has a crucial effect on children's emotional and mental well- being. Being in good health means more than simply being free from physical disease. It involves balance in the mental, social and emotional aspects of young children's lives. Mental health problems such as ADD, ADHD and anxiety are common in early years settings. [...]

[...] For many families, providing an adequate diet for their children is a major struggle, both in terms of the money needed and in being able to shop for fresh healthy foods locally: survey by the Social Exclusion Unit had shown that on many low-income estates there was no access to shops selling affordable fruit and vegetables. According to FSA Deputy Chair Suzi Leather, diets increasingly indicated social exclusion: in some areas there is better access to, and more choice of, street drugs than fresh fruit and vegetables.? (Janes, 2002) In relation to the influence on the family, the study suggests that having a family meal improves children's mental and physical well-being. [...]

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