Nutrition and Activity Ideas for Children!
A thought for food, and children!
Nutrition is a huge issue that many children need more guidance on, and it's really hard to teach them what healthy eating is when your going into snack time at preschool and find that the parents are packing things like candy, and chocolate bars in their lunch. I know that these things are more likely to get eaten, yet when you put a chocolate bar next to a turkey sandwich there's no doubt that the child will pick the chocolate. They'll even go as far as to not eat anything at all unless they get to have the chocolate bar first. This alone makes it very tough, and so the best thing any parent can do for their children's nutrition is not pack those things at all. In that case I can hear it already, "What's a good treat to pack?" Well, there are plenty of nutritional treats that parent's can substitute for candy bars, and bags of chips. Making your own potato chips can be a great idea, and it's not that hard to do. A bag of store bought potato chips can have as much as 155 calories. A child only needs 1200-1400 calories a day. If you add up the potato chips (155), the candy bar (270), the slice of pizza (290), and juice box (100) together then you get almost 900 calories, and that's just between snack time and lunch! If you add breakfast, and supper to the math then you'll be definitely going over the child's daily needs, and this is one of the causes of childhood obesity. Children learn by example, and if we pack these kinds of things in their lunch box then that's what they learn to eat. The average child needs at least 4-5 portions of each food group a day, and a good portion would equal about 50-100 calories. Balancing that out to fit 1200-1400 calories might be a bit difficult, so here's a few replacement ideas for the "treats" in the lunchbox, and a few activities you can do with your children to encourage them to learn about healthy eating. Their cheap, easy to make, and educational. Healthy eating can still be fun, and I hope that this hub will help.
What's in your child's lunchbox?See results without voting
Apples and Yogurt Parfait
Fruit or Veggie Kabobs
Some nutritional activities!
Food Choices Activity
Materials: Plastic foods like fruits, vegetables, breads, and meats for the healthy choices. Some plastic foods to represent the unhealthy choices like plastic chips, candy bars, ice cream cones, and pop cans. Two boxes, one red one green.
Procedure: Mark the red box as unhealthy food, and the green box as healthy food. Then mix the plastic foods together into a hamper for the children to sort through. Talk about healthy choices, and the different food groups. Go through the activity with them to help them decide what is healthy and unhealthy, or even see if they can sort them on their own. After everything has been sorted go through each box holding up an item that was placed in it, and ask the children for a second opinion on if it is in the right box. Ask why they think it's healthy or unhealthy, and give feedback to their answers. Talk about how we need certain foods to provide our bodies with energy, and vitamins.
Pretend-Play Grocery Shopping
Materials: Plastic food objects, empty cereal boxes, or cookie boxes for a good mix of healthy and unhealthy foods. Some shelves, and shopping bags. Plastic money, and a box to represent a till.
Procedure: Pretend your a hungry child, and that your only able to eat certain foods. Talk about how unhealthy foods make you sick, and healthy foods make you feel better. Designate one child as the cashier at the box, and give each child about 5 plastic coins, or bills to purchase the foods with. Have them go through the shelves one by one picking through the options displayed for them, and purchase them. After that child has purchased their foods have them bring the food to you, and pretend to eat the healthy ones while pushing the unhealthy foods to the side. Explain why you pushed them to the side, and praise them for the healthy foods they chose for you. Allow that child to take over the till, and send another child in to go shopping. Another way to do this activity is to have them shop according to the food groups. They'll have plenty of fun pretending with you, and this activity can really expand their awareness in food choices.
A few links to great websites for healthy recipes!
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