Strategies for Healthy Eating Habits in Nursery Settings

Nursery is a formative time in your child’s life. This is a time during which they learn and are introduced to everything from valuable life skills to the founding principles of school education.

Published on March 29, 2024

As part of our commitment to children and their parents, we constantly explore new and innovative ways of introducing learning into the nursery day. Here at My Ohana, one of our overarching principles is the importance of health and well-being. 

In this blog, we’re taking you through some of the ways that we encourage healthy eating in the nursery setting. We understand why it is so important to introduce young children to healthy life choices.

Why are healthy eating habits important at nursery age?

A study by the government found that in 2022/2023, 21.3% of children in reception (aged between 4 and 5 years) were overweight or living with obesity. 9.2% of children of the same age were specifically reported to be obese. This statistic is incredibly alarming and worsened by the fact that as children progress through primary school, the percentages only continue to increase. 

The same report found that 36.6% of children aged between 10 and 11 were overweight or living with obesity. This highlights a trend that indicates a spiralling attitude to healthy eating as children progress through their primary school years. 

We understand how difficult it can be to introduce diverse and often unfamiliar food types to your child’s diet. We encourage social interaction to help children enjoy healthy food. After all, as they get older and start to spend more time outside the home, they will come across different diets. So, we want to ensure that they are informed and able to make healthy and balanced food choices. 

Nursery is a part of the formative time in a child’s life when it comes to new beliefs and ideas. Their natural curiosity at this age makes them keen to learn and discover new things. So, what better place to start integrating healthy eating habits through a series of immersive activities, engaging conversations, and delicious healthy options?

The importance of a connected approach between nursery and home

Before we share some of the ways that we make healthy eating a part of the nursery routine for all our children, let’s first consider the role of parents at home. One of the most important parts of the nursery day isn’t always what happens when your child arrives, during their lunch break or afternoon play session. Their experience at home is also important.  

To facilitate optimum engagement with the skills they unlock, the lessons they learn, and the habits they are introduced to, children need to continue the development of these things at home as well as in the nursery. 

This requires a connected approach between parents and nursery educators to ensure that parents are aware of what their child is engaging with and can continue to promote those same habits and learnings from the comfort of home.

How we make healthy eating a part of the nursery routine

Here are some of the ways that we embrace healthy eating at My Ohana: 

·        We use snack and mealtimes as an opportunity to create conversation between peer groups. Some of our extraordinary people will sit and eat with the children to encourage good eating habits. 

·        We actively encourage trying different types of food. Parents can stay informed about what their child eats each day via the ParentZone app. 

·        We involve children in the preparation of snacks and offer food preparation as an activity that they can get involved in. We often find that this is one of the best ways to ignite a genuine interest in what they are eating, provoking questions about different ingredients, flavours, and meals. 

·        During the spring and summer months, we grow vegetables and herbs in the garden and get children as involved as possible in caring for the plants. 

Repetition forms lifelong habits. We are committed to making everything from life skills to healthy eating as fun and engaging as possible so that children want to engage. When children are interested and entertained by something, they are more likely to remember it, which is why so many of the activities we offer combine learning with play. 

To find out more about the nursery routine on offer at My Ohana, and to discover how we promote other healthy habits, you can get in touch with us directly to talk to a member of the team. 


We’ve been shortlisted for ‘Nursery Group Under 10 Settings’ in the National Day Nursery Awards 2022

Registered Company No: 2841130