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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healthy Foods

This group comes to some centers that are part of the agency I work for, CDCFC. You will see one of the centers, G. Tyree, in the video. I was lucky enough to get to participate in their program a couple of Summers ago when I worked at Generations. They do so many things that really get the kids' attention and help them to not only learn about healthy foods, but to remember it and tell their parents about it.

For example, they do themes about different countries. First, they show the children where it is located on the map. They play music from that country and incorporate other things that are part of that culture or language. They may teach the kids to say hi in Japanese, they may take an airplane ride to Spain, they may dance to music from Brazil. Also they teach about vitamins and what foods have different vitamins in it and what each vitamin does for your body. The kids really do enjoy and remember what the program teaches them and I believe helps them to begin healthy eating habits at a young age. The rise of diabetes and obesity in children is plenty of reason to take seriously what we are feeding to our children.

You can incorporate many of these activities in your classroom (or home). For example, choose a country or let the children choose one and look up everything you can about it online and make a dish from that culture.

Even adding one healthy cooking activity or movement activity to your lesson plan will allow children to get into a habit of staying healthy from a young age. And keep in mind, children will try a lot more foods than you might think. You never know if you don't try. I saw kids who tried tofu and guacamole for the first time and loved it! Actually I tried a few things I had never tasted before and still eat it to this day :)

Here is a link to the curriculum for Food Matters: