Feeding little ones is such an exciting and fun experience, but it can also lead to stress and worry for parents and caregivers, especially during the first few years of life. At MAYS, we try to focus on a few simple methods to encourage life-long healthy eating habits.
RELAX & ROUTINE: Children will eat when they are ready. Once we, as parents, accept that we have no control over how much a child eats, it helps us focus on what we can control—what is being served. We typically offer meals at 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM, and 5:00 PM each day. This consistency creates a predictable routine for children to feel comfortable and confident in trying new items.
FRESH & FUN: We are constantly researching and looking for new menu items for our students. When creating a menu, our goal is to balance fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and lean protein options. It can take days, weeks, or months for a new item to become a favorite among our students, and some still flop! We don’t stress about it; we just try something new and we keep in mind that a student may still like the item in the years to come! We’ve also found that if we offer too many new things as once, it can feel overwhelming to little ones.
COLORFUL: We always try to keep our plates full of color and exciting textures, paired with comforting favorites. We ensure that we serve four to six colors each day! It’s fun to eat a rainbow!
EXPLORE: We try to explore new foods before trying them. We encourage our students to smell, touch, smoosh, and lick new foods before trying them. This helps warm their senses to the new flavor. We also read books about food, plant gardens, and use food for play!
We are always happy to talk and advise about food, healthy eating habits, and overall child development, but when in doubt, please talk to your child’s pediatrician. Our new spring menu starts on March 22nd!