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Mindful Meals Boost Growth and Development

by Eddie Rayner

In the face of a 37 per cent child obesity rate in the UAE, Ladybird Nursery has introduced a healthy habits theme, which brings nutrition concepts alive with a variety of ‘hands-on’ engaging activities. 

However, as Monica Valrani, CEO of Ladybird Nursery, explains: “Parents are best placed to encourage healthy eating and observe the flavours their child prefers, preparing suitable meals based on this information. Knowing what children like allows parents to develop healthy meal options tailored to what the youngsters’ palates prefer. It is a great way to ensure children get all of their nutrients, whilst enjoying their food at the same time. This aids in both physical and mental growth.”

With a 37 per cent child obesity rate in the UAE, there is always room for heighted action and, while children might tend to receive ‘healthy’ meals less enthusiastically than their sugary counterparts, there are ways in which to make smart eating more appealing.

Valrani says that there are always healthy substitutes available for popular snacks, and introducing more natural sugars into a diet can help curb that sweet tooth. For example, oven-baked sweet potato crisps, cauliflower pizza, ‘nice-cream’ made using bananas and other fruit, and finally oat and banana pancakes.  “Wholesome meals help boost development, as well as the immunity levels of children. It is instrumental in ensuring that they receive all the nutrients required by their immune systems. At Ladybird Nursery, we encourage parents to send healthy snacks to the nursery to boost their children’s energy levels, while providing them with a variety of other advantages. Preparation of such meals is also a great way for parents and children to spend that all-important time bonding, as they can spend quality time together in the kitchen,” Valrani concludes.

Monica Valrani is the CEO of Ladybird Nursery.