Promoting Children’s Health at Home from Home - (Also see health and fitness working directive).
Children take part in weekly Yoga classes to help stimulate their physical, mental and emotional abilities with two of our specially trained teachers.
There are many benefits to teaching children yoga, here are a few…..
1. Yoga is non-competitive In today’s world, we hear so much about being the best and achieving the most. Yoga teaches children that their bodies are different; different bodies do different things and all of them are okay. There is no one better or worse at yoga than anyone else; we are all just exploring our bodies and learning from them in our own way.
2. Yoga teaches self-acceptance. In the same way that it provides children an opportunity to learn something that is non-competitive, it also teaches children to accept and cherish themselves as they are. Again, with society sending so many messages of inadequacy, yoga teaches children to love themselves. Learned young, this incredibly valuable lesson arms children with the tools to fight off the increasing feelings of self-doubt that come during the teen years and beyond.
3. Yoga encourages healthy habits. Any exercise program begun in childhood helps children to remain physically active and healthy as a lifestyle. However, yoga takes that further by teaching not only the healthy habits mentioned above, but also a healthy approach to eating and the ability to calm oneself and focus the mind.
4. Focus. Focus. Focus. We live in a world of distractions. More and more these days, children seem unable to focus on anything for any decent length of time. Yoga can help with that. It teaches children to be present, and to concentrate and focus on their breathing. They learn how the breath can help them throughout the day, in any situation.
They learn to focus on the pose by learning correct body alignment, and in so doing, learn to focus on their bodies and how they function—guiding each limb or part of the body through the nuances of the pose.
5. Yoga teaches calming techniques. Young children deal with frustration most typically by crying and throwing tantrums. When they learn proper, healthy breathing techniques and tools to focus the mind, they begin to learn how to apply those tools in their everyday lives and to react appropriately to any situation.
6. Children learn self-awareness through yoga. Again, in guiding their bodies through the poses, children learn more about their bodies and what they are capable of. They learn more about their minds, and how they can affect not only their own attitudes and approaches to life, but also the attitudes of others. They learn that they can achieve this through their own thoughts and how they choose to react to any given situation. This awareness of the body, mind and spirit, and of what can be achieved when all three work together, helps children develop into more confident, kind, responsible adults.
7. Yoga supports positive mental health in children.
All of the above benefits tie together. When children learn to accept and love themselves for who they are, to see the good in others, to focus and calm their minds, and to be aware of their innate capabilities, they learn tools for resilience.
They are more likely to be positive and optimistic about life and their abilities, and will hopefully be less likely to succumb to anxiety, depression and other mental health issues that are so prevalent today.
Maybe most importantly, yoga teaches children that relaxation is not only allowed; it is encouraged. Relaxing is not easy and learning to relax takes practice. Yoga provides space for the mind to slow down and settle.
Children are always told that they need to be engaged and productive. Their little minds are leaping from one activity to another all day long, often right up until they crash at bedtime. Yoga teaches children that it doesn’t have to always be like that.
If children can learn how to relax and be still, they will be able to handle better the stressors and pressures that will begin to hit them as they get older.
Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of illness; germs from coughing, rubbing eyes, nose and mouth can be spread to other people by the hands. Hand washing helps decrease the number of germs that can be spread. Children are therefore taught to wash their hands, after visiting the bathroom, prior to eating etc…
Care of teeth
In promoting good oral hygiene-children will brush their teeth after their lunch each day. Each child is supplied a toothbrush and as part of the daily routine, children will be helped and encouraged to brush their own teeth (children under 6 don’t have the fine motor skills to brush properly) promoting the importance of keeping teeth healthy. Topics: will also include care of teeth activities and visits from a local dentist.
At Home from Home we are aware that toddlers and pre school aged children are learning how their bodies work and everything it is capable of doing. Activities will promote free play, fun, and exploration. Activities for our very young children will be anaerobic rather than aerobic i.e. running races, climbing frame, throwing and catching, rough and tumble, drama, yoga and dance etc…
What shall we have for snack today?
The aim of the nursery is to ensure that the children have confidence, skills, knowledge and understanding to begin to make healthy food choices. The chef works closely with key practitioners to provide nutritious meals, snacks and drinks, including vegetarian options, and organic food available for our under 1’s. Starter packs enable parents/carers to provide us with information about what their child likes and dislikes, and what dietary needs may be required. This information is vital in planning and providing for children’s menus.
Practitioners understand that healthy eating contributes significantly to the Being Healthy National Outcomes for children. Snack times and meal times provide daily opportunity for practitioners and children to eat together and share dialogue about healthy foods and how this helps us feel better etc.
Breakfast is served from 7.15am when the nursery opens, until around 8.30am, and lunch and tea sittings are flexible around the children’s needs. All children have a choice of main course, and all food including baby formula is included in the fees.
Menus are rotated on a four week basis with summer and winter menus which are adapted regularly to suit children’s individual needs and dietary requirements. See week to view sample menu below: (D=dairy; V=vegetarian; VA=vegetarian alternative)
Lunch: Shepherd’s Pie with beef (VA) served with peas and sweetcorn, or Tomato and vegetable pasta (V) Petits filous (D)
Tea: Homemade vegetable soup (V) served with brown bread and butter soldiers (D) Peaches in natural yoghurt (D)
Lunch: Homemade chicken nuggets (VA) and potato wedges with baked beans, or Jacket potato, baked beans, and cucumber celery carrots and tomato salad ((V) Bananas
Tea: Spaghetti hoops on hot buttered toast (V,D) Fruit smoothie (D)
Lunch: Pork sausages (VA) with mashed sweet potatoes and garlic bread, or Cheese and tomato quiche and homemade coleslaw (V) Natural fruit yoghurt (D)
Tea: Fish fingers (VA) with crusty bread and butter (D) Fruit crumble and custard (D)
Lunch: Moroccan lamb (VA) with cous cous, peas and carrots, or Cauliflower Cheese (V,D) Stewed fruit and custard (D)
Tea: Baked beans on hot buttered toast (V,D) Fruit jelly
Lunch: Fisherman’s pie (VA) made with cod served with mashed potatoes and peas, or Tuna pasta bake in tomato sauce (VA) Assorted fresh fruit
Tea: Assorted sandwiches of ham, cheese or marmite, served with salad (V,D) Bananas and custard (D)
Where meat is served a vegetarian alternative (VA) is offered, giving all children a choice of two lunches. Spreads e.g. butter, will contain dairy and an alternative spread will be used for non-dairy diets. Unsaturated fats e.g. olive oil will be used in mashed potatoes rather than saturated fats such as butter. We take into account specific dietary needs and also provide diets that could include higher calories, and gluten or wheat free diets.