Healthy kids learn better. Healthy kids go to school, pay attention, can have better test scores and are more likely to succeed. Making sure that children have the proper nutrition is an important part of the healthy child. Proper nutrition throughout childhood is essential for proper growth, prevention of disease, and psychological development. Children grow at rapid rates and their nutritional intake needs to match this rate. It is up to us as parents and caregivers to ensure that this need is met (Grodner, Long, Walkingshw, 2007, pp 21-44).
It is our responsibility to instill good eating habits in our children that will carry forward to their adulthood. The World Health Organization states “malnutrition is globally the most important risk factor for illness and death, contributing to more than half of deaths in children worldwide; child malnutrition was associated with 54% of deaths in children in developing countries in 2008″(WHO, 2008). I chose my nine year old cousin Nathan, to teach about proper nutrition and better food choices that he can make on a daily basis.
The website that I chose start our teaching session was www. mypyramid. gov . This is a great website that offers interactive games, menu planning, information about how to read labels and many other topics on nutrition, but most importantly it made learning fun for Nathan. Learning about nutrition The first activity that Nathan and I embarked on was the my pyramid blast off game. It is an interactive game where the child has to put specific foods onto the proper food group on the pyramid.
Before he actually started playing the game, I explained which foods would go into which food group by using items that I had in my kitchen cabinets and refrigerator to see if he would remember what types of foods would go into which category. He did pretty well placing the foods in the proper food groups on the game and wanted to play the game again to try to improve his original score. After we finished up with the website, I wasn’t completely sure if the information he just obtained would stick, so I asked him if he would help me make a healthy snack.
I asked him if he ever had a cold veggie pizza, when he stated no, I knew that would be the perfect snack for him. Not only is it healthy, it would guarantee that he would get a couple servings of vegetables in him, it also uses several of the food groups and I asked him to name which food group each item would go into. This helped me determine if the information that he learned previously was effective. To my delight, he passed with flying colors! He not only knew all the food groups, he made suggestions to add to the pizza.
In order to help children develop properly and to cultivate the right eating habits, children need to learn the importance of nutrition right from an early age. This will help them adapt the right lifestyle and follow balanced eating habits as they grow up. Children are quite prone to getting addicted to chips and cookies, and this can create negative impacts as they grow up. Children are quite immature to understand why parents insist on nutrition and a balanced diet with emphasis on fruits and vegetables. It’s the parents’ responsibility to make the children understand the “why” behind it.
Grodner, M. (2007). Foundations and Clinical Applications of Nutrition. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier. World Health Organization. (2008). 10 Facts on Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/nutrition/facts/en/index.html United States Department of Agriculture. (2011). Food Pyramid. Retrieved from