Gables Montessori Blog

HEALTHY FOOD FOR YOUR KIDS

Feeding our children is always a priority in the daily planning. We look for fresh, nutritious and tasty foods for our kids and that’s sometimes a complicated task because the amount of information may be overwhelming. But it is necessary to know that good eating habits are learned in childhood, so the healthy relationship with food must be instilled from an early stage.

Babies up to six months should only be fed with breast milk, after that (4 – 6 months) some fruits and vegetables can be included in the daily diet. The progress from a milk only diet towards a varied one is gradual and should include foods from all the groups. Proteins, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates are necessary for the good functioning of the body of children. You can get into the habit of trying different types of protein with each meal and a couple of different vegetables. Thus you can teach your child to appreciate each flavor and learn to know what he likes or doesn’t.

Proteins are necessary for important functions including growth, brain development and healthy bones, but carbohydrates are essential too, so both types of food must be included in each meal. In the case of vegetables and fruits you can start with small portions, the size depends on the age and physical activity of the child. You can combine them with dairy products such as milk and yoghurt that provide calcium as well as vitamins A and B12 and minerals. Calcium is an essential nutrient for children to develop strong bones and teeth. But prefer natural yoghurt, not the sweetened and add natural flavourings, make sure that your kid gets used to these flavors and thus he will be away of diseases related with the sugar in the blood as the diabetes. Sugary pastries and desserts, soft drinks, sweets, biscuits and others could be eaten only on special occasions, the over consumption of these ¨snacks¨ are also related to high rates of obesity.

Fats are also important in children´s nutrition but too much of any sort of fat is not recommended. Substances as butter, oils or spreads aid the absorption of vitamins (A, D, E and K). An special kind of fat, Omega 3 is essential for the human body and can be found in fish, nuts, seeds and their oils, so these type of products not should be forgotten at the time of doing the shopping in the supermarket or cooking meals.

These following tips or recommendations can be you very useful on the topic of the nutrition of your children:

Although cereals can be an easy option for breakfast, read the labels carefully, many contain higher levels of sugar. The best is to choose an unsweetened and combine it with some fruit.

Include some protein in the breakfast such an egg or yogurt. This meal is really important, it is the first contribution of energy after many hours of sleep.

Children love snacks but sometimes they prefer not the healthy ones. Teach your kids to eat fruits when they feel hungry, that is a good habit that will be beneficial throughout life.

Water is preferable to any drink, juices and smoothies are delicious but can contain a lot of fructose and this can result in a ‘sugar high’.

It is better more raw or minimally processed than cooked food, and if cooked, better if it is at home. Avoid restaurants or takeout meals, these sites are concerned more by the taste than by the nutritional content of the food.

Parents are role models, so eat healthy, exercise, drink water and your children will learn good habits by the simple fact of imitating you.

Get kids involved in shopping for groceries and preparing their own meals and keep healthy snacks available.

Remember that breakfast is an important meal, but that does not mean eating too much. Combine proteins and carbohydrates properly and offer your kid some fruit, a good breakfast must provide the energy an active kid requires

Family meals are great opportunities to strengthen ties, gather your children around a table, talk to them about their activities and problems and keep them away from phones, computers or TVs

By eating together you can monitor your kids habits and you can also teach by example. Children will observe how you combine the food and the size of the portions you serve, also how to sit and the good manners to eat.

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THE MONTESSORI CURRICULUM

From birth to 3 years

During the first three years of the life of the child bases for future development are built.   Montessori calls this period the “embryo spiritual”, during which takes place in the psychological sphere which the embryo already carried out in the physical sphere. This process is achieved through the “absorbent mind” of the child which incorporates experiences, relationships, emotions, images, language, culture, through their senses and by the simple fact of living.

These life experiences shape his brain, forming neural networks which have the potential to remain with the person throughout his life. At this stage, from birth to age of 3, Montessori education focuses on the development of speech, the coordinated movements and independence, which give the child confidence, allow him to discover his own potential and his place within a community.

The curriculum in the classroom from 3 to 6 years is divided into four areas of work:

Lifestyle: are activities as the care of themselves, the others and the physical environment. Activities include tasks that are familiar to children: washing, polishing and setting the table, array of vases, etc. Activities of “grace and courtesy” are also introduced. Through these and other activities, coordination and control of the movements and exploration of the environment is achieved. Children learn to perform a task from start to finish, they develop their will, their discipline, concentration and confidence in themselves.

Sensory: the child of this age learns through their senses rather than through his intellect. Sensory materials are tools for children to refine every one of their senses. In this preschool-age the child finds order and sense in the world, raises its capacity of perception, encourages observation and a sense of admiration for everything that surrounds him.

Language: at the age of 3 children enrich the already acquired language. They will use it wisely with precision and beauty. They will learn to write on the basis of the senses (hearing, touch), and as a natural consequence they learn to read. As an extension of language activities, children learn about geography, history, art and music.

These areas help the child to understand the environment that surrounds him and to raise awareness. It leads them to feel respect and love for the environment, and creates a sense of solidarity with the whole human family and their habitat.

Mathematics: materials help the child to learn and understand mathematical concepts by working with concrete materials that lead him intuitively to abstract concepts.

From 6 to 12 years

The curriculum in the classroom from 6 to 12 years presents a historical, evolutionary and integrated vision of the knowledge of human development. It includes five great lessons or fundamental lessons in different areas. Lessons are designed to awaken the imagination, curiosity and admiration for the human spirit.

 

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