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Caring for the Little Ones - Feeding our Children Well

by Dawn Rouse
November/December 1996
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/caring-for-the-little-ones-feeding-our-children-well/5011233/

When you ask any adults about their favorite foods, you can instantly get a clear picture of their family culture and traditions. Foods, culturally, define us and make us not only part of our families but of society as well. With these strong emotional ties to our foods and the familial connotations they hold, the feeding of the children in our programs can be an extremely sensitive topic. As early childhood professionals, we need to be committed to nutrition in our programs, yet sensitive to family traditions and cultural variations.

During my years as an infant caregiver, I found that one of the initial basic trusts established between child, caregiver, and parents revolves around food. As the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, feeding equates to love and caring. Will the person to whom these parents are entrusting their child feed her enough? Recognize when she is hungry? Overfeed her? If you have breast feeding moms, how will the infants relate to you, the bottle bearer? Will their attachments to their mothers change?

How you as the caregiver deal with these first situations can set the tone for your entire relationship with the children and their parents. Honest discussion and sharing of ...

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