31 Aug 2016
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Dovecote Nursery in Muscat, a top childcare facility offering a premium, British Early Years Foundation School (EYFS) curriculum, values the benefits of healthy eating for little ones in Oman.

Is your little one a fussy eater? Try these top tips for stress-free mean times.

There’s nothing worse: you’ve spent time preparing a healthy meal for your toddler and it ends up all over the floor in a matter of minutes because they wanted nothing more than a slice of toast or yet another chicken nugget.

It’s a frustrating experience, especially when you want your little one to have a healthy, balanced diet based on the five food groups.

But that’s easier said than done.

According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, a medical practice and research group in the United States, parents should remember to think about their child’s diet over the course of a week, rather than daily.

“Many parents worry about what their children eat – and don’t eat. However, most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week,” the Mayo Clinic says on its website.

Dovecote Nursery in Muscat, a top childcare facility offering a premium British Early Years Foundation School (EYFS) curriculum, values the benefits of healthy eating for children in Oman. But that doesn’t take away the fact that some children can be fussy eaters.

Helen Cairns, the manager of Dovecote Nursery in Muscat, says children’s health is an important part of their learning and development.

“Education around food and healthy eating forms a part of our curriculum and daily routine,” says Helen.

“We provide healthy snacks each day eaten in groups, strengthening the relationship between staff and children. We often cook together or taste different foods together. It is really important for us to encourage children and families to cook and eat together using healthy food and fresh, nutritious ingredients.”

This is why the nursery, based in Shatti Al Qurum, has lauched the #DovecoteLunchboxChallenge, an initiative to motivate the country’s youngsters to eat healthy food.

Top 10 tips for fussy eaters: 

  • Respect your child’s appetite – or lack of one: If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force him or her to eat a meal or a snack. Make sure to set boundaries and guidelines around eating and healthy eating habits.
  • Stick to the routine: Always try to serve meals and snacks at about the same time to develop a routine.
  • Be patient with new foods: Serve new foods with favourite foods and remember, it may take a few attempts for your child to take their first bite.
  • Make it fun: Use brightly coloured foods or cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes, or even create funny faces to keep your child’s focus.
  • Recruit your child’s help: Ask your little one to help you at the supermarket. They can also help you in the kitchen by rinsing vegetables or fruit, mixing a recipe or even setting the table.
  • Set an example: If parents make healthy food choices and eat fruits and vegetables then their children are more likely to follow suit.
  • Be creative: Disguising vegetables in sauces, which can be blended, is a great way to get your children to eat healthily – without them even realising!
  • Minimise distractions: turn off the TV and other gadgets during meals and enjoy this quality family time. 
  • Don’t offer dessert as a reward: In fact, desserts should only be an occasional treat and not indulged in every night.
  • Don’t prepare different meals: Everybody should eat the same meal (unless there’s an allergy). Otherwise, parents are run ragged creating different meals and will become stressed.





Two-week taster at Dovecote Nursery + Lunchbox and a Toy


One-week taster at Dovecote Nursery + Lunchbox and a Toy







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