Posted by: ad65shorty | November 6, 2009

Guest Post: Teaching Kids Nutrition

Amy, from Super Healthy Kids, is here as my guest today. She majored in Health Education and teaches classes around the community on implementing a healthy lifestyle; she is planning on getting a Master’s of Nutrition next year. She blogs daily with ideas on how to teach your children to make healthy choices on their own, with the hopes that they will develop these skills for life. I love that she shares her personal experiences in teaching her own children about living a healthy lifestyle. Her blog has some really good stuff, and I am a faithful follower. She is amazing, and I feel so lucky to have her insight today!

Teaching kids to eat healthier is most effective the younger you start! Preschool is the perfect time to help kids understand what effects different foods have on their bodies. Kids learn this concept both by influence (if the cereal manufacturers can convince kids, so can we), and by letting them choose their own foods.

The lesson:
The simpleness of this lesson is the beauty of it. Teach them, “All foods we eat can be either green light, yellow light, or red light foods. First, our ‘green light food’. This food you can eat anytime, and makes you ‘go’. Then we have yellow light food. These foods you eat sometimes, and makes you a little slower. Then there are red light foods. These foods you should not eat, and they will make you stop!

Take out some various foods, or cut pictures out of grocery store ads. Then, quiz your kids on whether they think it’s a red light, yellow light, or green light food. Explain with each one, why it is categorized as such. “Green light foods (carrots, apples, bananas, broccoli, oatmeal) have lots of vitamins and minerals that make our bodies work. They give us energy, they are straight from the ground as God made them. They fill us up, without adding lots of sugar and empty calories. Yellow light foods are OK for us. (animal crackers, gold fish, cereal) They have a few vitamins, but they also have some things in them like chemicals to make them last longer that may not be good for us if we eat too much. Red light foods (chips, cookies, hot dogs) have too many chemicals, too much sugar, and no vitamins.” Have your kids go through the cupboard and ask you, “Mom, is this a green light food?” 

Luckily, we have lots of green light foods. We were talking yesterday about drugs and alcohol and my 8 year old daughter said, “Are drugs a red light food?” Yes! I told her. They totally start to understand.

Activity:
Print this traffic light and have kids draw pictures, or cut and paste pictures of different foods. There is also a portion plate coloring page for fun here: http://www.superhealthykids.com/coloringpage.pdf , or use a bland Food Pyramid at http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/Resources/mypyramidcoloringpage.html

Story:

Stone Soup

Stone Soup by Ann McGovern

After reading, talk about the ingredients added to the soup and why that made for a hearty meal!

 

Aren’t these great ideas?! I can’t wait to try the “light” foods with my children! She also sells these cute plates that help your children with portion size and selecting the right types of foods. Thanx, Amy! Again, be sure to check her out at Super Healthy Kids. You’ll be so glad you did!

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