Teachers and parents alike can agree that a healthy kid is a happy kid so it’s important to teach kids about nutrition from a young age! Nutrition goes beyond just what we eat, it also explains why and how certain foods affect our mental and physical health. As you will read below, there are many ways in which we can talk about nutrition in our schools as well as in our homes.
Nutritional education in schools can be beneficial on so many levels! For example, it can improve a child’s physical health, which in turn often helps with academic performance. Another pro is that students tend to perform better on tests, oftentimes walking away with improved test scores at school, resulting in a better chance of getting funding from the state for higher education!
The best way to introduce nutrition education at home and to encourage healthy decisions is by setting a good example. Get your kids involved in the day-to-day cooking at home. Explain to them the importance of food and how food is the fuel for our bodies. Without consuming healthy and nutritious food, we tend to crash at home or at school.
While some of these suggestions may be easier to implement than others, here are a few quick ways we can ensure our kids have the best nutrition education at school and at home:
- Implement a school garden as part of the curriculum.
- Connect your nutrition lessons in the classroom with the food that the students are having in the cafeteria each day.
- Include nutrition-focused worksheets or tips and tricks in student newsletters.
- Teach students the proper way to read nutrition labels.
- Recruit local farmers to talk to students about what they grow and the impact locally sourced food can have on the community.
Nutrition education will facilitate the adoption of better food choices and other food-related behaviors that will improve the overall student health and well-being!