Explaining healthy eating to children forms lasting habits and increases their understanding of nutrition. With information found online and more books published about research on specific diets, it can be challenging to filter which should be taught to our kids. While younger children first learn about healthy balanced diets through the MyPlate food groups, it can be too basic for older children and teenagers who become more exposed to both healthy and unhealthy foods.
Here are some practical ways on how children can stay informed about the latest nutrition facts as they learn more about their changing bodies.
Supermarket trips are usually a family affair, but we can make it less stressful by involving our kids in the task. Prepare grocery lists for fruits and vegetables while adding new items on the list each trip so they can expand their knowledge. For wet markets, engaging the shop owners can also teach our children how food reaches our table by asking where they source the products.
Manufactured food items come with nutritional labels and advertising claims. It can be daunting to teach children when it’s confusing to us adults. Still, we can start by identifying the natural and artificial ingredients. It’s marvelous for kids to see what goes on in food production. Still, it’s essential to know how these ingredients and nutritional claims affect our bodies as they grow older.
Curious as they are, kids will want to try and taste every type of food out there if possible. Thanks to our current technology, it’s now possible to diagnose food allergies early, eliminating the risk of illness from consuming harmful food to our bodies. Teaching children about food nutrition will also entail why we must strive to eat healthy if we want to protect ourselves and continue to enjoy eating food in the future.
Depending on the age, some children will find interest in kitchen duties, even developing skills in cooking or baking. Assigning responsibilities to prepare food teaches them important habits like food sanitation, hygiene, and an awareness of specific dietary requirements.
Many studies have shown that eating together improves family life and promotes sensible eating habits. Aside from seeing how our kids eat, we can also monitor the amount of food that they eat. Whether they’re on a weight loss or weight gain journey, our role is to guide and support our children to become healthy and happy adults in the future.
Children can also learn about other people’s relationships with food through the community. By joining food drives or volunteering in soup kitchens, we can show our kids how to appreciate their food and care more about the nutritional value of meals.
Caring about food nutrition is also caring about food growers, the people who prepare our food, and those who don’t have access to nutritious meals. Our kids need to interact with their food more meaningfully beyond what they see on television or packaged food items in the grocery store. Teaching kids about food nutrition will help them succeed later in life and be more conscious about other people’s health in the community.