Have you heard about Munch and Move?
Incorporating healthy eating and exercise, so it becomes a natural and instinctive part of your little one’s life – where your child chooses healthy over unhealthy eating, enjoys active play and exercise – is important.
Children need a wide variety of nutrients, such as protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins, to assist in their daily growth and development and to protect them from childhood illnesses.
And just as significant, a dose of daily exercise helps children to build stronger muscles and bones and limits excess body fat.
There are lots of reasons why children do not exercise enough or do not eat well. Perhaps they don’t like the taste of certain foods, or they get bored with the lack of variety or they don’t have the knowledge to make good choices about food.
They may see moving their bodies as something they are not good at or to endure, or perhaps they prefer to play with their iPad or watch television.
Early childhood is where good habits and exposure to healthy eating and exercise is crucial for their development and wellbeing.
That’s why Grace Village has become part of the Munch and Move program and are now a certified early learning centre.
What is Munch & Move?
Munch & Move is a NSW Health initiative offered to early childhood services, to support the healthy development of children from birth to 5 years.
The initiative promotes physical activity, healthy eating, and reduced small screen time (watching TV or DVDs, playing on computers and small hand-held games devices) through a range of fun, play-based learning experiences.
Grace Village educators have been fully trained in the initiative and have new resources to implement fun, play-based activities to support healthy eating and physical movement in young children.
These family-focused activities are easily replicated at home for parents and caregivers and provide simple, practical tips and ideas to engage children in active play and healthy eating.
Munch and Move at Grace Village
Your child’s nutrition has always been important to us. Our dietician approved morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas consist of a wide variety of healthy, wholesome and fun meals for your little one to explore and experience new tastes with other little villagers.
Our physical activities are filled with stimulating and various forms of exercise in our new natural outdoor play area complete with tepee, sandpit, climbing mounds, balancing stumps, and natural creek with water pump.
Grace Village have already been sharing some great activities as part of the Munch and Move program. Many of these activities you can also do at home to enhance your child’s healthy eating and exercise at home.
Let’s look at some activities inspired by Munch and More to teach your children.
Gardening and growing plants
Our little villagers planted some vegetable seeds in our new garden beds. As we watered and cared for them, we were able to watch the plants grow to be big and strong until the vegetables were ready for picking and eating.
When the plants were fully grown, the plants were given to the parents to take home to cook and eat the new vegetables. The children were proud of their work helping to grow a plant and provide food for the family.
Activities designed to move little bodies
Grace Village, along with daily play activities, have structured programs in soccer and yoga, introducing your little ones to new and varied ways to exercise.
The soccer program with Soccer Pat is for ages 2-6. During the session, football skills and game knowledge, speed and agility with the ball are taught to develop their gross motor skills. The little ones also discover a new way to interact with their peers.
Linda, Grace Village parent, “We love Soccer Pat too!”
As part of our wellbeing program, yoga is a great exercise routine to improve concentration, self-esteem, academic performance as well as increase their strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and fitness.
It also helps with behavioural problems, regulating emotions and reducing depression and anxiety.
Watch our little ones practicing yoga – it’s so cute, not quite like a quiet, calm adults yoga class.
Cooking and food preparation
Getting little ones into the kitchen is a great way to encourage an adventurous palate or encourage fussy eaters to try new tastes.
Feeling, cutting, spooning new ingredients and foods, and the smells from cooking encourage children to taste them and to talk about why they like and don’t like different tastes. Decorating and plating the food is great for kids to explore food integrated into play.
Little ones in the kitchen are not always easy but it can be fun. We recommend you prepare before you start, dial in lots of love, patience and time – and you are all set to go, mess and all!
Cooking skills can be as simple as cutting up vegetables
Grace Village is childcare reimagined. We will be incorporating new activities into your little one’s day to get them to Munch and Move. Watch our posts on social media for all the fun activities you can try at home as well.
Do you have any great ideas you would like us to try or feel free to ask us or your child what activities they would like to do at home?
Let us know in the comments below – because we can all improve how we Munch and Move!