Nutrition
At Pine Tree, fresh healthy food is cooked daily on premises,
 because we care about the little people we are doing it for.






Cost of breakfast, lunch and snacks is included in the Tuition Fees.

Vegetarian Food is part of the Nutrition Menu.

 

 
Nutrition

" We cook  healthful food daily, because we care about the little people we are doing it for "
 Many a time the children tell their parents to get the recipes from Fadia, so mom can cook it at home. In fact, one parent came at 6:00 am to learn how to cook JB Stew, her child's favorite dish.
(Medical Content Reviewed by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School)
(Medical Content Reviewed by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School)

Preschool Nutrition


  • Think Differently about  meals
  • Expect Smaller Appetites
  • Be Prepared For Messy Eating
  • Serve healthful Child-sized Portions of The Daily Meal Plan
  • Feed Picky Eaters
  • Keep Mealtimes For Meals

Moving into the toddler and preschooler years from infancy is notable for the child's increasing physical growth and achievement milestones. There are also major changes in habits and mealtime behavior as children become toddlers. Although challenging for parents, these changes in kids are an important part of every child's normal development. Toddlers are developing a sense of independence by learning how to feed themselves. Although usually more competent at feeding themselves, preschoolers still struggle with independence, making themselves even more unpredictable. The following information summarizes these major developmental changes in eating habits and mealtime behaviour, as well as the nutritional needs of toddlers and preschoolers. The goal is to make it easier for you to help your kid learn healthy eating habits. It is essential that even young children learn healthy eating habits to:

  • Develop normally and reach their full potential.
  • Avoid childhood problems directly related to nutrition,
         such as iron-deficiency anemia, poor growth and obesity.
  • Stay healthy into adulthood, by reducing the risk of chronic diseases as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some form of cancer.


Think Differently
Kids as toddlers and preschoolers diets are very different from infant diets. So different healthy meals must be considered. While older infants get most of their nutrition from breast milk and/or formula plus a few solid foods, toddlers drink milk and other liquids and eat an increasing variety of solid foods. One of the first and most important steps in this transition away from an infant diet is weaning to a cup, usually by 12 to 14 months.

Infants generally need to be fed, but toddlers want to be independent and feed themselves, no matter how messy. Infants often happily stare at there caretakers while being fed, but toddlers and preschoolers can be frustrating at mealtime. Kids are easily distracted.

Expect Smaller Appetites
In their first year of life, babies grow more than they will during any other year in their lives(tripling their birth weight), and they need a lot of food to keep up with h\this growth. toddlers and preschoolers grow at a much slower rate and therefore, don't need as much food. It is common to notice a decrease in appetite starting around a child's first birthday.

Be Prepared For Messy Eating
Although your first attempts to introduce cereal or jarred foods to your infant kid were probably messy, few things will compare with the mess created by a toddler learning to feed himself. Some foods make to your toddler's mouth, but more food may end up on the floor, high chair, clothes, hair and  face. Be patient! As your toddler practices eating, he is learning many things. For example, the taste, the smell and texture of foods are new to him, as are using his fingers, hands, arms and utensils to eat. So be prepared for the mess, try to relax, snap, lots of pictures and take steps to clean up easier.

  • Feed your child in a high chair, or a booster seat at the table. To reduce messy spills and decrease the chance of choking, do not let your child get up from the table and walk around while eating or drinking.
  • Use a bib. Larger ones cover more clothing. Bibs with Velcro are easy for parents to take on and off, but most toddlers figure out how to remove them after a few months, too. Some bibs even have pockets to catch falling food and crumbs.
  • Dress down for meals. If your toddler refuses to to wear a bib, dress her in older clothes that are usually washable.
  • Use child-friendly dishes. Choose small plastic spoons and forks ( no Knives ); some have curved handles that make it easier for toddlers to get food into their mouths. Consider buying special unbreakable bowls that have deep sides and suction cups on their bottom.
  • During the meal, protect the floor below. Put a plastic mat or some newspaper on the floor under the child's chair.
  • Be prepared for spills. Keep a broom or a wet-dry vacuum nearby for quick cleanups.


Serve Child-sized Portions Of Well-Balanced Meals

The average one year old kid needs about 1, 000 calories per day, but the number of
calories varies with a child's body size, activity level and age. It is not necessary to count calories but more important to offer nutritious foods from each of the food groups every day. It is also important that fat intake never be restricted for children younger than 2 years old. Fat provides fuel for proper brain growth and development during this period of remarkable growth and high energy needs. After age 2, children should gradually eat fewer high-fat foods and make the transition to a heart-healthy diet, just like other children and adults, with no more one-third of total calories from fat and no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day.


Make Healthful Snacks Part Of The Daily Meal Plan
Young children have relatively small appetite with very high levels of activity, so they usually need to eat every two to three hours. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, most children need mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Some still may need a bedtime snack. Serve healthful  snacks, such as:

  •  Fresh fruits, dried fruits, fruit-filled cookies.
  • Vegetable with low-fat dip. Be sure to prevent choking in children younger than age 3 by avoiding all raw vegetables that are hard to chew, such as carrots or green beans.
  • Cheese cubes, cheese sticks, yogurt, milk.
  • Whole-grain bread, bagels, whole-grain crackers, unsalted whole-wheat pretzels, rice cakes, dry cereals (low or no sugar)
  • Peanut butter (smooth, spread thinly on bread or crackers), hummus, and cheese yogurt spread.


Feed Picky Eaters
Toddlers and preschoolers are notoriously picky eaters because of the decrease in their appetite(compared with infancy) and because of their emotional development, specifically first learning about independence, and then testing the limits of that independence. Children this age also tend to prefer things that are familiar for them, so they are often hesitant to try new foods, they often get a lot of attention from their parents, which reinforces a negative behavior.

Keep Meal Times For Meals

In an effort to get children to eat or sit quietly at the table while the rest of the of the family eats, parents may be tempted to give them toys or turn on the television as distraction.
However, in the long run, it is probably better to avoid this strategy. First, parents should not try to get their children to eat. A parent's job is to simply offer nutritious meals and snacks at appropriate times throughout the day. It is the child's job to decide whether to eat and how much. Second, eating meals and snacks while watching television can lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain later in life.

Healthful meals and snacks are also important social times for kids and families, so make them special by sitting down to eat with your child. We encourage parents to come to Pine Tree and watch their children eating and see how they interact and socialize with other children. Meal time is party time. Food becomes enjoyable and the child eats happily without any begging, coaxing or pressure.

 back to the top


A Sound Mind

in a

Sound Body



Several magazine, newspaper, and website articles about physical fitness and physical education have caught my attention in the past few months. A few of the most prominent stories described the alarming increase in obesity in American children and adolescents. A recent Newsweek article noted, "Baby fat has morphed into a national health crisis. Nearly 15 percent of kids between 12 and 19 are overweight—up from 5 percent in the late 1970s."

The article continued, "They're also more sedentary than ever. Less than 25 percent of school-age children get even 20 minutes of rigorous daily physical activity, well below the minimum doctors prescribe." Public health officials warn that this inactivity will lead to "costly, debilitating illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes even in their 20s and 30s." Relatedly, the American Diabetes Association published a report noting that about 20 percent of childhood diabetes cases are type 2, non-insulin dependent diabetes, which is linked to being overweight.

These warnings have prompted some physical education teachers to re-evaluate the purpose of physical education classes; they no longer devote most of their time and energy on students who demonstrate the greatest athletic talent. Newsweek quoted Peggy Hutter, a physical education teacher at Kearsarge Regional Middle School near Concord, New Hampshire, who observed, "We were taught that if kids want to sit on the side and not participate, too bad, that's their problem. But now gym teachers are looking at all those kids on the sidelines and saying, ‘Hey, maybe we're the ones who have the problem.'"

Phil Lawler, who teaches at Madison Junior High School outside Chicago, found that physically out-of-shape students were expending as much energy as the best athletes, but because they were poorly conditioned, their performance was compromised. Lawler recognized that instead of teaching students how to win a race, he should concentrate on educating them about how to remain in the "fitness zone," that is, the most efficient heart rate for maintaining good health, for as long as possible. Lawler's goal is to provide "students the knowledge, training, and experiences they need to keep themselves fit for their entire lives."

I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of physical education classes, especially when they focus on enhancing the fitness of all students and not just those who are already fit. However, during my visits to numerous schools I have spoken with many physical education teachers who have described the low regard shown for physical education activities. (I should note I have heard some of the same laments from music and art teachers.) Unfortunately, in today's world of high-stakes testing in which the worth of a student and a teacher is measured by a test score, we are in danger of drifting away from the concept of the "whole child" or "whole adolescent." A false dichotomy has emerged in some quarters that views time devoted for physical education as diverting time and monies from academic pursuits.


by Robert Brooks, Ph.D.