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8 Steps to Teaching Kids About Nutrition : Fizzics Education

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8 Steps to Teaching Kids About Nutrition

8 Steps to Teaching Kids About Nutrition

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Did you know that teaching kids about nutrition could just be your solution to making them eat more healthy foods? Well, learning more about foods allows kids to develop a positive relationship with different foods. This, in turn, influences kids to develop a liking for these foods and a desire to eat balanced meals. Of course, eating healthy at a young age keeps away adverse effects such as obesity and other diseases. In addition, when kids learn about nutrition, they are likely to carry good eating habits throughout their life. However, nutrition education isn’t that easy especially in this day and age where unhealthy foods are everywhere. But, that’s not to say that it is impossible. It can actually be very easy with the following 8 steps.

  1. Offer them all types of foods

The best way to introduce all types of food to kids is by offering them during meals and snacks time. This means offering them fruits, vegetables, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins throughout the day. Ensure that you introduce them to healthy vitamin supplements as well. In addition, be very careful not to forbid junks as this can only make them more curious to want to try them more. Remember that even if you don’t offer them, relatives, friends and even teachers are willing to treat your kids once in a while. Make it a point to include them occasionally and moderately.

As a side note, you’d be surprised how much kids have trouble when it comes to identifying whether they have a fruit or vegetable in front of them This is even more the case if you quiz them as to whether they have a root, flower, stem or leaf in front of them. Try this activity with your kids to learn how much they know about plant structures as you look through your fridge!

  1. And, don’t label foods as healthy or unhealthy

Labelling food that kids enjoy as bad can only result in a power struggle between you and them. It also makes the kid feel guilty for enjoying that particular food. Rather than talking about the bad of a certain food, you can talk about it in comparison to other healthy foods. For instance, tell them how home-cooked meals are more nutritious than fast foods. When giving supplements, you can tell them how a supplement such as apple cider vinegar benefits the body (see this CSIRO study for more details). You can even get gummies! It also helps to talk about the advantages that each food gives to the body. Talk about improved immune function, better digestion and increased cardiovascular health that it offers.

  1. Allow them the freedom to choose

Insisting on a particular food is likely to be a put off for many kids. Rather than going that route, give them the option to choose between various foods in that group of foods. Kids are more willing to try foods that they have chosen themselves. In addition, it opens up an opportunity to teach about different foods that fall under the same category.

Baskets of food

Healthy choices school science visit

  1. But, let them know too much of one food isn’t good

Giving them the liberty to choose is good, but it can also make the child shy away from other foods on the table. Be sure to remind them that eating only a particular food won’t give them all the nutrients that the body requires to function well.

  1. Talk about nutrition regularly

Kids learn better by hearing about something more often. That is why you stand to be successful in nutrition education if you hold discussions about foods often. You can take advantage of mealtimes, when cooking or when gardening with kids to discuss the food at hand. However, be careful not to make the discussion sort of a lecture. Involve the kids with questions such as their favourite vegetables and fruits, the differences between different vegetables and the like.

  1. But, rethink your timing

When it comes to nutrition education, timing is everything. Most parents think of mealtimes as the best time to discuss nutrition. While it may work for most kids, it can’t go down well with picky eaters. Mealtimes are already stressful enough for picky eaters. Talking about nutrition at that time is likely to come off as a way to get them to eat.

  1. Make the discussions age-appropriate

Younger kids might not be in a position to handle complicated information about foods. Instead of telling them that milk is a good source of calcium, proteins and vitamins, tell them that milk makes their bones grow. Otherwise, older kids have the capacity to understand the scientific aspect of food.  For younger kids, the discussion can also include fun facts about foods such as the colour, smell and texture.

  1. Include fun activities

Kids learn better and are more likely to be interested when there is some fun involved. You can include various activities in your teachings. Some examples include:

Conclusion

Nutrition isn’t an easy topic for kids. However, with clever strategies, you can manage to make them understand different foods and the benefits it gives to their tiny bodies. The above steps can go a long way in helping you teach nutrition to your kids if done right. Be sure to implement them in a way that isn’t overwhelming to their young brains.

Happy Teaching,

Ambrose Parker

Ambrose Parker

Ambrose is an elementary school teacher who has been teaching kids for the last 10 years. She is a firm believer that the use of technology in teaching can make learning more attractive for students. Her dream of being a teacher began during the early stages of high school.

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2 thoughts on “8 Steps to Teaching Kids About Nutrition

  1. Hi I would like to know if there is any incursions that your organisation provide to preschool.

    Regards
    Priyanka

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