The Role of Nutrition in School Readiness 

The first few years in a child’s life are characterised by rapid developments that are not seen in any other period of life. Along with several other factors, nutrition plays a huge supporting role in this stage of life. It has been established that nutritious diets help children concentrate better and think more critically. Naturally, nutrition has thus been linked to the school readiness of a child.  

Discussed below are some of the most important ways in which nutrition makes children school-ready.  

  • Cognitive Development: Experts suggest that brain development in preschoolers is fuelled by proper nutrition. Essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and omega 3-fatty acids support concentration, memory, and cognitive functions. A well-balanced diet is necessary to enhance a child’s ability to solve problems, grasp new concepts, and think critically.  
  • Emotional and Behavioural Stability: Balanced nutrition is also required for the emotional well-being of a child. It has been observed that preschoolers who are properly nourished have more stable emotions and moods. A nutrient-rich diet helps regulate blood sugar levels, which reduces temper tantrums and mood swings.  
  • Language and Communication Skills: The development of language and communication skills is another benefit of proper nutrition. Iron, for example, plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of a child’s brain. This, in turn, makes a positive impact on language development. By providing the right kind of nutrition, it is possible to help preschoolers engage effectively with peers and teachers, articulate thoughts, and develop vocabulary.  
  • Physical Health and Wellbeing: Physical health depends directly on nutrition. Preschoolers require a wide range of nutrients for the development of strong muscles, bones, and immune systems. By preventing illnesses, nutrition allows children to take part in physical activities that promote coordination and motor skills.  
  • Healthy Eating Habits: Preschool years play a formative role in the establishment of lifelong eating habits. Children who are exposed to a variety of nutritious foods are more likely to build a positive relationship with food, which is important for their better future. 

 The Munch & Move Program 

In the context of proper nutrition for preschoolers, the Munch & Program by the NSW government deserves special mention. This initiative is designed to promote the development of healthy children in the age group of 0 to 5 years by encouraging healthy eating, physical activity, and reduced screen time.  

Munch & Move supports NSW-based early childhood educators by providing them training and resources. The goal of this training is to help educators implement a play-based and fun approach to instil physical activity and healthy eating habits in preschoolers.    

Key messages of the Munch & Move initiative include  

  • Encouraging and supporting breastfeeding 
  • Eating more fresh vegetables and fruits 
  • Creating opportunities for an active lifestyle 
  • Drinking more water throughout the day 
  • Choosing healthier snacks 
  • Encouraging an active lifestyle with minimum screen time.  

Valley Heights Preschool Long Day Care Centre strongly believes in the philosophy of developing healthy children and invests significantly in the Munch & Move program. Please contact our expert educators today to find out more about this initiative.