The trick to teaching your child about nutrition is making it fun. By engaging your child in a variety of nutrition-oriented activities, you can help him understand how important good nutrition is and how to incorporate it into his daily life in an exciting way.
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Turn learning about nutrition into a game and your child may forget she is even learning at all. Try a sorting game using real food or magazine cutouts of food and have your child decide which foods go into the healthy group and which go into the unhealthy group. You can also place nutritious foods in brown paper bags and have your child, without looking, feel the food and try to guess what it is. Or throw a taste-testing party for your family or your child's friends. Blindfold each taste tester and have her taste and then identify a variety of healthy food items. You can offer clues including the food's colour, texture, vitamins and what the food does to keep the body healthy.
Online Games and Activities
The Internet can serve as an effective and readily available resource in getting your child excited about nutrition. Websites such as nutritionexplorations.org, nourishinteractive.com, dole.com and mypyramid.gov have an overwhelming variety of nutrition-focused activities geared toward teaching children. Interactive activities include games, quizzes, nutritional information pages, shopping lists, food trackers, videos and music.
Printable Coloring Pages and Activities
The world of good nutrition is at your child's fingertips as long as you supply him with a pencil or a crayon. Colouring pages, crosswords, word searches and mazes and other activity pages are widely available online on websites such as coloringbookfun.com, nourishinteractive.com and nutritionexplorations.org. They are free to print and offer themes including healthy foods, food groups and cooking.
Use presentation to encourage your child to eat the healthy foods consistently. Get your child involved and have her help you turn food into edible works of art. For example, make a "Tomato Man" by cutting the top off a small tomato, scooping out the seeds and filling the cavity with peas. Place the tomato's top back on for a hat and then use cream cheese to glue on two cooked-bean eyes, a sliced, triangle-shaped green-pepper nose and a slice-of-celery smile.
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- National Dairy Council; A World of Activities
- Nourish Interactive; Free Printables - Health, Nutrition and Food Printable Worksheets
- Nourish Interactive; Kid's Area
- Dole Food Company; Super Kids
- United States Department of Agriculture; MyPyramid For Kids
- Gary Hopkins; Lesson Planning Article: Serve Up Classroom Nutrition Activities!