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5 Ways to Improve Nutrition Education in Schools

 Nearly 1 in 3 American children are overweight or obese, which sets kids up for a lifetime of health issues. While many of our beliefs about food and our bodies begin well before kindergarten, improving nutrition education in schools can go a long way to help kids enjoy better health now and as they grow into adults. Whether you’ve recently purchased a house among Philadelphia real estate and are hoping to improve nutrition education at the schools in your area or anywhere else, you might want to share these options for teachers that can provide essential lessons on nutrition.,

 

Avoid Labeling Foods as Healthy vs Unhealthy

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We often see foods as black and white, either healthy or unhealthy, and despite the best of intentions, this isn’t helpful and it can even be harmful, by creating guilt when kids eat anything that’s categorized as “bad.” There’s nothing wrong with an occasional cookie or mac ‘n cheese for lunch. The goal isn’t to never eat XXX again, but to achieve balance instead. That means it’s important not to forbid foods, but simply say something like “That isn’t on the list this time, but something for another time.”,

 

Focus on Teaching Not Dictating

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Rather than focusing on whether a food is healthy or unhealthy, it’s important to focus on the teaching aspect, just like you’re teaching the numbers, what mammals are or what the colors in the rainbow are. Describe foods without prejudice, talking instead perhaps about the various ways to prepare it, or what smell, texture or color it has.,

 

Food is Fuel

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Help children to understand that food fuels what we love to do, from running and playing to coloring and learning. Help them recognize that our bodies need energy from food to move, and it also helps our brains to think properly. This encourages a more positive relationship with food, while helping kids to connect it as fuel, motivating healthier choices.,

 

Encourage a Wide Range of New Foods

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Teachers have the opportunity to let kids talk about their favorite foods in class, and they can also open up opportunities for sampling new ones, even those that have seemingly “scary” flavors. They might even make a simple recipe with their students and have a voluntary taste test to encourage trying new foods. Another option is to connect a nutrition lesson to what’s being served in the cafeteria that day. It can be used to encourage students to try new foods at lunch while learning about them in the classroom at the same time.,

Teaching the principle of variety is important, with a wide range of food groups, various colors, cooking techniques, etc. providing a good way to explain how it provides adequate balance over time, and insight into how the human body works.,

 

Plant a Garden

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If possible, plant a garden, helping kids to get involve with where their food comes from. They can plant the seeds, watch them grow and help in the harvest, while learning about farming and agriculture, and how foods go from a farm to the table., ,

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