November 17, 2012

Teaching Healthy Eating

Teaching kids to eat well while they are young helps them develop life-long habits.  I studied nutrition in college and taught it at a high school level before having kids. It's a subject I love learning about and teaching.  So, lately I have been really trying to teach my kids more about nutrition in our homeschool.  I alredy do it every day by making sure they see the importance of eating from all of the food groups and encouraging regular physical activity.  We always have fruits and vegetables at every meal.  I also talk to my kids a lot about foods that are good for tham and those that are not.  They know that certain foods and drinks are only eaten occasionally.  But more than just preaching to them, I try to always set a good example by doing it myself. Growing a garden is a great way to excite them to eat things that you have grown.

I have found a few favorites in searching for meaningful learning activities on nutrition for my kids.  There is an adorable set of lessons called Little D's Nutrition Explorations that teaches about nutrition in a fun and memorable way.  It has cute characters and stories to go along with it.  I used this in our homeschool co-op one year and the kids loved it.  I also really like the site Choose My Plate.  File Folder Fun has a couple of nutrition related file folder games that my kids enjoy.   

Great books always teach the concepts well!
Here are a couple of books related to nutrition that we have and love :

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

Good Enough to Eat by Lizzy Rockwell


Little Pea   by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan and Jan Berenstain
A fun activity I have done with my kids a couple of times is the Fruit & Veggie Fill up.  I print off a body outline and each time the kids eat fruits or vegetables they can put a sticker into the body.  If the fruit has a sticker on it (many do) they use that, but if it doesn't they can use any little sticker.  MY kids really love this and it really motivates them to eat more produce.
Do you teach your kids nutrition?  What resources have you used and loved?

Karyn is a homeschooling mom of three kids. She grew up in S. Florida, but has lived out west since college. She is a former Home Ec. teacher and loves cooking, running, reading, sewing, singing, gardening, blogging, teaching, & being with her family! She write two blogs- Teach Beside Me is a homeschooling blog and her other one is a food blog. 

2 comments - Add a comment below -:

Cari said...

I gave my 6 year old the task of checking labels at the store for the amount of sugar, whether it includes corn syrup and ingredients he can't pronounce. Now he's a label nazi and if he asks for something like fruit snacks, I ask him if its healthy, he can then decide for himself if he wants to put it in his body. It rubs offf on the younger ones too, they now ask if things are good for their body before eating it. The earlier taught the easier it is to avoid the "junk". Great resources!

Karyn Tripp said...

Cute idea, Cari!