Twopresents is all about celebrations and no celebration is complete without food. Here is a piece from guest writer, Francesca Duck, who specializes in food and nutrition. We hope you enjoy her tips on how to teach kids about healthy food choices.
Children are natural explorers; they are open to learning and discovering wonderful things. They can absorb a lot of information and love diving into hands-on activities. With regards to nutrition, the best way to teach them is to incorporate exercises using their five senses – letting them smell, taste, touch and see the shapes and colors and hear the crunch of food. In this way, they are more likely to retain important messages and create a positive connection with food.
Learning about nutrition should be a positive experience. By combining fun activities with kitchen techniques, children feel engaged and comfortable and are more likely to use their nutrition knowledge in the future. Having an outgoing teacher makes all the difference in ensuring each child is involved in the process. Dressing up, ‘acting like a sous chef’, and having planned activities with family and friends makes the educational experience even more enjoyable.
When talking about nutrition, it’s important to get children to become familiar with lots of fruits and vegetables and teach them to ‘eat the colors of the rainbow’ in order to get all the vitamins they need to grow up healthy and happy. For example, yellow and orange fruits are great for our eyes and colds, whereas green vegetables are good for energy and growth. Bringing along colorful charts, songs, easy to use tools, pictures and examples can be useful when getting them to create their own dish.
Asking children to help you name different components, colors and shapes will encourage even the shyest to get involved. Games like ‘bell pepper traffic lights’ or funny riddles (see below) will also support them. Constantly asking simple questions really opens up the floor to see what they already know, what they think or what they are exposed to at home or school. Lastly, its key to allow for discussion, making sure that no judgment is held and that rewards are always given such as high fives, “well-dones” and of course lots of smiles!
I am in the fruit group.
I’m somewhere between the size of a golf ball and the size of a tennis ball.
My skin is brown and fuzzy.
Once you peel me, I’m bright green and juicy on the inside!
I am a … KIWI.
For more information about nutrition education, recipes and fun nutrition workshops for children’s parties contact Francesca at http://www.coconutandwhat.com