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Getting Ready For Nursery School - Health and Nutrition

Balanced Diet

When a child enters nursery school, it becomes even more critical that they enjoy having a healthy and well balanced diet. They will be using up way more energy through increased brain function and physical activity. A child who is hungry cannot concentrate on learning, a child who is overweight will have difficulty developing motor skills, a child having excessive sugar intake will be too excitable to focus, and a child on a severely restricted low fat diet will lack the energy and nutrients needed to perform at its best.

When faced with the daily lunch kit dilemma, remember the BIG 3:
1. carbohydrates (not from sugar), 2. fruits/vegetables, and 3. protein (lean) and dairy.

Consider the following:-

  •  Fresh fruit or canned fruit packed in juice (NOT SYRUP)   
  •  Crunchy veggies like carrots and cucumbers
  •  Cheese and yogurt are great milk substitutes
  •  Unprocessed sliced meats make great sandwiches
  •  Boiled eggs are packed with nutrients
  •  Canned fish (tuna, sardines, mackerel etc.) packed in water
  •  Dried fruit and nuts (make sure no classmates are allergic)
  •  Popcorn
  •  Spreads: peanut butter, jams/preserves, butter
  •  Whole wheat bread, tennis rolls, and roti or pastry (in moderation as can be high in bad fats)
  •  Whole grain biscuits, muffins, and crackers
  •  For hot lunches: channa and other beans/ lentils, ‘greens’(eg. bora, calaloo, baigan, pumpkin), soups, rice, and pasta are good options
  •  Milk, water, and 100% juice (NO SOFT DRINKS or anything made with HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP)
  •  NO PACKAGED TREATS: chocolates, candy, chips, corn curls, cheese balls, cookies etc.

Remember to keep portion sizes small as a child’s stomach is small and can stretch from over eating. If you have a picky eater, let him/her help in making their snack choices the night before. When there are healthy options, you get to model good eating habits and make healthy choices together.



The sleeping child is the equivalent of the charging battery. When a child sleeps the brain and body have a chance to further develop as well as repair any damage.Sleep is just as important for the development of the brain and body functions as eating healthy food. Children who are well rested, and enjoy a full night’s sleep are usually more alert with longer attention spans, more successful at school work, more socially well adjusted, have better temperaments, and are less prone to physical and psychological illness.


To have your child benefit from a full night’s rest, do the following:-

  • Have a predictable bedtime that matches when your child is usually tired, and be strict with it.
  • Have a consistent bedtime routine that ends in the child’s sleep area (e.g. light dinner/snack, bath, teeth brushing, get into night clothes, lay in bed together and read a story, say prayers, lights out).
  • Have the child sleep in the same calm, cool, comfortable environment as much as possible.
  • Even if your child seems extra awake and hyper at bedtime, still follow through with the routine.

You should start to create and regularize your child’s bedtime routine and sleep schedule in the weeks before school re-opens. This gives you both a smooth and combat free start to the school year where your child is mentally ready for all the learning that he/she will experience. 

Read 45359 times Last modified on Sunday, 10 November 2013 23:58

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