Good nutrition during childhood is essential for the proper development of children’s bodies. Moreover, it not only determines the overall proper functioning of the body, but it also guarantees optimal capacity for learning, communicating, socializing and adapting to new environments. Children with a good diet are less likely to suffer from nutritional problems, anemia and obesity. For proper nutrition of a a 3 to 6 year old:
- Follow the food pyramid to have a healthy and balanced diet.
- Eat 5 meals a day: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner. Avoid big portions and try to consume foods that are homemade whenever possible.
- Eat foods rich in fiber 2-3 times a day (vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc).
- Limit as much as possible the consumption of sweets, chocolates or industrially produced baked goods.
- Consume a minimum of two servings a day of milk or dairy products to maintain an adequate intake of calcium.
- Introduce new foods at the beginning of meals in small quantities and teach children to eat slowly to ease the digestive process.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during meals. It is recommendable to avoid the consumption of commercially bottled juices.
Classroom Activities to Promote Healthy Eating
The key to getting children to understand the importance of healthy eating habits is to use fun activities that motivate them to eat healthy and wholesome foods. Teachers can highlight the risks of poor eating habits and raise awareness of the consequences of obesity and other eating disorders. There are many activities that can be done in the classroom to make students aware of the importance of good nutrition:
Food Word Search
Create groups of three or four students to find the foods that appear in a food word search. Have students classify them according to whether they are healthy or not and justify their answers. Later, in a class discussion, each person defends their answers in a way that they choose: by drawing, singing or even leading a game. The most important thing in this activity is that everyone shares the knowledge they have about healthy eating and they develop their creativity and imagination.
Healthy Dish Research
This activity consists of choosing a variety of healthy dishes and then having students find out what kind of ingredients are used to make them. This game can stimulate children’s curiosity about the ingredients in their favorite foods, and thus promote greater awareness of healthy eating.
On our platform, Smile and Learn, we have a wide variety of videos about the human body and everything related to healthy eating to help little ones understand the importance of nutrition. You can also find this video on our YouTube channel about important aspects of children’s nutrition such as carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins:
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