Appropriate nutrition is vital to the growth and development of young children. In addition, the importance of eating experiences within early education and care settings cannot be overstated. Educators interact with young children during meal and snack times as children practice fine motor and social skill development, learn about science, and establish healthy habits. This entry examines four concerns that are of great relevance to children in early care settings: (1) nutrient and food needs, (2) the influence of the early care setting, (3) nutrition recommendations, and (4) best nutrition practices.

Key Concepts in Nutrition

In order to explore the importance of nutrition in early care settings, it is helpful to define the key concepts used by nutritionists. Nutrients are constituents of foods needed to sustain life. ...

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