In my work with small children, it is my understanding that, for the same reasons a structured education is important for preschool-aged children, healthy eating habits are important for developing children. This is why, at Miracle Moments, we serve two hot meals a day (breakfast and lunch), each of which includes a well-balanced variety of different food groups.
First, because children's bodies grow rapidly during the first eight years of life, it is important that our students are fed meals rich in calcium for bone growth and iron for myelin (essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system). Types of foods that are rich in calcium are your basic dairy products: milk, cheese and yogurt. Whole wheat bread is a great source of iron.
Second, healthy nutrition as a child has a direct affect on the health of that child later on in life. Studies show that children who eat nutrient rich foods display lower levels of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, mental illness, drug addiction and kidney damage. On the flip side, children who have a steady diet but eat the wrong foods are more likely to develop high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and other health problems. This accounts for why the rate of childhood obesity in America has tripled since 1980.
Finally, in just the same way teaching children healthy behaviors and habits when they are young will influence their behaviors and habits when they grow older, teaching children the importance of a healthy diet will help them make wise decisions when it comes to their nutritional choices as they grow up. A child who has not grown up eating a lot of sugar and saturated fats will not have a taste for these things as an adult and so will be less likely to eat such things, thus lessening the chances of developing one of the above health problems.
So if you have a chance to review our Sample Menu, you will see that we offer many nutritional meal options throughout a two week period. This information is posted, not only to share with parents what we are offering at mealtime at school, but also to encourage parents to continue providing healthy choices at home.