Creating Happier Day Care Kids

How parents manage their children at home has a direct influence on their behaviour at day care. Here are three of the top influences that could be affecting your child’s behaviour.

If you have ever felt a wave of panic when you drop your children off at family day care; you are not alone. Many parents are concerned about how happy their children are throughout the day and their associated behaviour.

Influence One: Sending your child off for the day without a suitable breakfast or no breakfast. Food is fuel to a child’s body. What they eat determines the capacity of their output. If your child has no food or unsuitable nutrition at breakfast, it can lead to them having poor concentration with emotional outbursts of frustration or an inability to cope in challenging situations. They can also be uncoordinated and clumsy leaving them more at risk of falls.

What to do instead: Avoid giving your child milk throughout the night. This will allow them to be hungrier in the morning. Ensure the foods you offer for breakfast include protein, complex carbohydrates, fruit, essential fats and iron. Avoid simple sugars and processed cereals containing preservatives.

Influence Two: Putting your child to bed too late in the evening. Being overtired before going to bed makes it hard for your child to settle to sleep. When they eventually fall asleep their sleep is often restless and fitful with waking. Their activities before a late bedtime often include watching TV and mischievous behaviour, both causing unsettled sleep.

What to do instead: Introduce an age appropriate evening routine. This will include a suitable meal time, bath time and play time before a pre bed time routine of books. Encourage family time with no TV distractions during the one and a half hours before bed.

Influence Three: Eating foods that provide an unsuitable and adverse effect on a child’s body. Research shows obesity now affects 1:4 children in Australia and allergies and intolerances have increased 500% over the last 6 years. These preventable health issues are rapidly becoming the number one focus for our health industry’s funding.

What to do instead: Go back to basics. Avoid or at least reduce the amount of pre packaged food that your child consumes. Buy a lunchbox suitable for presenting natural foods in. Understand your child will not starve and you can create new habits with their eating behaviour. It is important to know; it is not up to your child to choose what to eat, only whether to eat. It is up to responsible adults to show children how to build a strong and healthy body for their future.

Who is Jan Murray? A Private Child Health Consultant who focuses on helping parents to establish healthy eating and sleeping patterns in their babies and young children. Her book ‘taste it- easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’ is specifically helpful for parents wishing to address the influences discussed in this article.

Jan Murray has been committed to studying and working as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan has a bachelor of Behavioural Science, is a mother and nanna, who co-founded and directs Settle Petal. Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge base and confidence.

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