Teaching kids about nutrition is a valuable life skill that you can start teaching them as early as possible! It’s not something that will be taught overnight, but rather will take time and a lot of conversation to get there.
We’ve compiled five easy ways to incorporate this education into your and your child’s daily life so you can start them off early to build a healthy habit with food.
#5 Make it fun
Turn the learning experience into a game! You can play “name that food” – simply put various fruits and veges in a bag and get them to pull one out and tell you what it is (blindfolded). They can feel/smell/taste it if they need to!
#4 Keep it age appropriate
You can use every food interaction as an opportunity to educate, but make sure you keep it simple for younger kids and add more fact and science for older kids. For example, for younger kids: “milk helps us grow big and strong” and for older kids “milk is high in calcium which helps our teeth and bones grow and remain strong.”
#3 Don’t label foods
As "good," "bad," or "junk" – instead, teach them the education behind the food (not just the dictation). For example; “This is steak. It’s the same meat as the hamburgers but not all ground up – they are both beef. Beef has a lot of protein which gives us energy and helps make us strong.”
#2 Get them involved
In the kitchen and with the supermarket shop. This is a good opportunity to teach them about different foods and have conversations/discussions about them, For example, “check out this funny looking fruit – it’s a pineapple and has lots of Vitamin C which helps protect you against colds by boosting your immunity.” Involve them in cooking too by peeling the vegetables or tearing the lettuce leaves. This builds a good habit and life skills as well as teaches them what goes into their food.
#1 Grow their own produce
Get them growing their very own micropod is a fun project and a great way to introduce them to growing their own foods. They should look after it entirely on their own from setup to harvest – it will teach them nurture and responsibility. Microgreens grow so quickly that they will literally see the growth day by day. This keeps it fun and exciting and they can check on it everyday and be proud of the result! Most kids enjoy the fun textures and flavours of microgreens too, plus they are loaded with nutrients and can be an easier way for kids to eat their greens if they are averse to chomping through trunks of broccoli and forests of leafy greens!