5 Fun Ways to Teach Children About Nutrition
When children are healthy, they can have a longer lifespan, good academic performance, and be less likely to develop chronic diseases later in life. Many children do not understand the importance of nutrition. Their parents do not know how to teach them. Many of their teachers do not have adequate training in nutrition. Nutrition plays a critical role in children’s health. It is the role of the parent and community to make sure that children understand its importance.
How Do I Teach My Children About Nutrition
There are several ways in which you can use in teaching children about nutrition. Here are the best five.
1. Go on a Fruit Hunt
Go on a fruit hunt in your local area. An excellent way to do this is to have children make a chart or a map of their favorite fruit places in their neighborhood. Write the name of the fruit and the place where it can be found. Some activities you can do at the fruit place include tasting, smelling, and touching the fruit. If the fruit is poisonous, let the children know. One of the significant challenges with this activity is that children may not understand what some fruits are. Here are some of the things you can do during the fruit hunt:
i. Reading the signs
If you go for a fruit hunt in a grocery store, look for signs that tell you what the grocery store is selling. For example, a sign will say “Canned fruits” or “Fruit juice.” The child should be encouraged to read all the signs. You can create the signs. For example, one of the signs will say, “Fresh fruits.” You can take fruits such as bananas, watermelon, pineapples, and apples and wrap them in colorful paper or pouches. You can also cut the fruits into small pieces. The child should read the signs to understand their purpose. Also, you can provide the child with a booklet of fruits and ask them to make the signs.
ii. Tasting the fruit
When you go on a fruit hunt, let the child taste a small piece of fruit. Ask what it tastes like. Let the child describe the taste in their way. For example, a child says it tastes “juicy” or “sweet.” It would help if you encouraged the child to explain more clearly. After tasting the fruit, encourage the child to eat more of it. Another activity you can do is to have the child try to taste a fruit while being blindfolded. The child should be encouraged to describe what they taste when being blindfolded.
iii. Smelling the fruit
When you go on a fruit hunt, let the child smell a small piece of fruit. Let the child smell the fruit for longer than usual. Encourage the child to experiment by smelling different fruits.
iv. Touching the fruit
When you go on a fruit hunt, let the child touch a small piece of fruit. Encourage the child to feel different fruits. You can encourage the child to touch soft fruits like watermelon and rough fruits like pineapple.
2. EAT: Eat It and Learn
This is one of the fun ways to teach children about nutrition. It is straightforward, but it is effective. The idea of this activity is to have the child try a variety of fruits and vegetables. It could be salad, rice, bread, or pizza. The child will learn about the different flavors and textures of the food by tasting other foods. You can also teach by serving different ingredients. For example, you can give your child a choice to decide if the food has corn, carrots, or peas. Let the child taste the flavors of the foods and describe what they taste. Let the child serve meals.
3. Write a Story Together Using Food as the Theme
This activity aims to help children understand food’s roles in our lives. To do this, you can let the child write a story about food. The child should be encouraged to include different kinds of foods. For example, a child likes sweets. Therefore the child writes a story about sweets and their favorite food. One of the other things you should do is to encourage the child to write about the feelings they get from different foods. For example, a child writes, “I feel happy when I eat candy.” The child should be encouraged to use present simple and present progressive tense.
From the story, you can also ask the child to write about how they help to make food. For example, a child writes, “I help by making foods.” By doing so, the child can learn how foods are made. This can help them to learn about cooking. The child should be encouraged to write about how they help to prepare food.
4. Make a Nutrition Jigsaw Puzzle
This is a simple activity. It is also a fun way to teach children about nutrition. A food puzzle can help children learn about different foods and tools. When they find food such as corn, they should write it down on their puzzle pieces.
It involves a child identifying different foods, their names, and the names of their tools. This can help children understand that food is made of many things. It also shows them that different foods are made with similar tools. The idea is to help children learn that other foods are made of the same tools and can be used differently.
5. Make A Food Sculpture
This is one of the fun ways to teach children about nutrition. This activity can be done at the dining room table. The idea is to teach children the different parts of food and how they fit together. For example, let’s take an apple. Children can be asked to write about the details of an apple—for example, the core, the skin, the seeds, and the juice. Let’s take another example of a slice of pizza. Children can be asked to write about its parts, such as the crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings. The child can then write about the different ways of serving the food. For example, one way is to serve it for breakfast and another for dinner. This can be a fun activity for children to do with parents or teachers.
Why Should I Teach My Children About Nutrition?
If children do not learn about nutrition in the earliest form of their development, they may not understand its importance. Here are some of the reasons why children should be taught about nutrition:
i. Help them gain healthy eating habits
Teaching children how to eat healthily is the best way to learn how to eat. This will help them to develop good eating habits. For example, they should be encouraged to eat fruit, vegetables, and other healthy food daily.
ii. Help them choose and make healthy choices
This will help your child learn a lot of skills at the same time. Desserts and fussy foods are not always the best choices for children. However, they often choose to eat them anyway. When you teach your children why foods are nutritious, you can help them make better choices in the future.
iii. Help them cope with illness and disease
If children learn how to take care of their health through nutrition, they will be able to deal with sickness or disease when it happens. You can teach your children about how these diseases are caused by unhealthy food and drink. For example, you can teach your child that eating many sugary foods can cause diabetes. So, their blood sugar levels will be too high, and this will cause a lot of health problems.
iii. Prevent obesity
Children can also gain weight quickly if they eat a lot of unhealthy food or food with too much sugar. When you teach your children about healthy food, it can help them to choose healthy foods, so they will be able to stay fit and healthy.
iv. Prevent food poisoning
If children eat unhealthy foods, they may get a lot of diseases. This is why you should teach them how to avoid foods that may cause food poisoning. For example, let’s take some rotten fruits or vegetables. If you teach your children about these foods and how to avoid them, they will not have to risk their health.
v. Prevent dental diseases
Teaching your child about proper nutrition can help prevent many dental diseases in the future. It can help children develop good eating habits. For example, they should be encouraged to brush their teeth often and not eat many sugary foods or food rich in fat.
By teaching your children about nutrition, you can help them lead healthy lives. If the parents and teachers do not teach the children about nutrition, they may choose unhealthy foods that are harmful and can cause their children to have diseases. By doing so, it will be in the child’s best interest. You can use a variety of activities to teach your children about nutrition. This can help them gain essential life skills and develop good eating habits.