Pre-Schooler: Food Preparation Guidelines
Before You Begin
- Wash your hands before you prepare any food, and wash your hands and your baby’s hands before you begin the meal.
- Make sure all equipment and the food preparation area are clean and sanitized.
- Thoroughly rinse all fruits and vegetables before you begin preparation. Do not use detergent or bleach; it is not necessary and can leave residues on some fruits and vegetables.
- Wash utensils and cutting board between different foods, especially between cutting raw and cooked foods
Set Boundaries and Examples
- If you find you are sometimes losing the battle against poor nutrition, take a look at the number of hours your child may be spending with the television. Even the youngest child can be influenced by dancing burgers and singing cereal, which makes your job a little tougher.
- Mealtime should be family time. Children, no matter their age, do not like to eat alone. The television is not adequate company.
- Once your child enters day care or school, don’t let their day-time meals become out of your control. Help reinforce the healthy habits you have already set by sending lunch and snacks or by speaking up if the school’s meals are not to your healthy eating standards.
- Set a good example for your child. Eating junk food does not help promote healthy eating, so get the junk out of the house.
- Make cooking a family affair. Involve your child in all phases of food preparation (be safe!) and answer any questions they may have about cooking.