Approximately 2 billion children around the globe are micronutrient deficient. While it’s normal for your child to develop picky eating habits, their nutrition is essential. Otherwise, they might become one of the 160 million children under 5 with stunted growth.
Good nutrition and healthy habits begin at a young age. With this guide on teaching kids about nutrition, you can ensure your child grows up with healthy habits into their adult life.
Make it fun for you both! Our guide on healthy eating shows you how to introduce variety and color into your family’s diet. It’s now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hard copy and eBook form!
Keep reading to discover nutrition lessons for kids with these fun-filled tips.
Why Should Kids Learn About Nutrition Early?
Before we discuss teaching kids about nutrition, let’s talk about why it’s essential.
Healthy eating can help your child reach and maintain their healthy body weight. A balanced diet will also help them consume important nutrients, which can help reduce the risk they’ll develop severe health conditions. These conditions can include:
- Iron deficiency
- Dental caries (cavities)
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children age 2 or older should follow a healthy eating pattern that includes:
- A variety of protein foods
- Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
- Whole grains
- A variety of fruits and vegetables
The guidelines also recommend people limit calories from solid fats and added sugars. It’s also important to reduce your sodium intake. If you have more questions about what’s right or wrong for your family’s diet, reach out to one of our expert HueDietitions.
Here are a few more reasons teaching kids about nutrition is important.
A well-nourished body helps nourish your child’s mind. When your child has the nutrients they need throughout the day, they’re more likely to remain focused. Students who eat a balanced diet have:
- Improved test scores
- Better attendance
- Fewer behavioral issues
Teaching kids about nutrients at a young age can deepen your child’s understanding of:
In addition to academic skills, nutrition education will also teach your child life skills. For example, they’ll learn how to prepare balanced meals and snacks. They’ll also learn how to listen to their bodies to determine when they’re hungry or full.
Nutrition classes for kids can help your child learn how to provide their bodies with the right amount of food.
Developing these skills early on can ensure they remain healthy into adulthood.
Healthy versus Unhealthy
Younger children sometimes have a difficult time differentiating between healthy and unhealthy foods. Instead, they’re more concerned about the foods they want to eat.
Teaching kids about nutrients can help them understand what foods they need to eat. When they’re taught the difference between junk food and nutritious food, they can make healthy choices on their own.
Reduce Fast-Food Cravings
Some children eat numerous fast-food meals a week. However, these foods are often high in saturated fat, calories, and salt. The lack of nutrition could lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Teaching kids about nutrition now can help them learn about the dangers of fast-food. As a result, they’re more likely to make healthy eating choices. Showing your child how to make healthy choices can help them take control over what they put in their body.
Encourage Physical Activity
Children who eat a healthy diet are more likely to engage in daily physical activity. Nutrition education and physical education go hand-in-hand. When your child eats a balanced diet, they’ll have more energy to play and engage in sports.
Increased Fruit & Veggie Intake
Your child needs multiple servings of fruits and veggies each day. Nutrition classes for kids will help your child discover why it’s important to eat their fruits and vegetables. Teaching them how to track their consumption can also motivate them to eat more servings each day.
In time, eating enough fruits and vegetables will become a habit, not a chore.
Fun Tips for Teaching Kids About Nutrition
Ready to teach your kids about nutrition? Here are a few fun ways to get them excited about eating healthily!
Play a Game
Consider playing a nutritional game with your child. For example, HueTrition’s HuePets Program helps your child learn about how to eat a healthy diet.
To play, your child will scan real-life food to feed their HuePet. Feeding their pet nutrition foods will help their pet grow and evolve. Watching their pet grow will motivate your child to eat the same healthy foods, too. Check out Curly Girl Ayla here to see how her HuePet is doing.
HuePets makes it easy for young kids to understand nutrition. The game uses colors to show your child how different fruits and vegetables contain different vitamins and nutrients. Playing the game will help them visualize the benefits of a balanced diet.
Royalty Brown and her mom utilizes the colors of the rainbow to make nutritious eating fun. She also loves hanging out with her HuePet, you can check out her instagram by clicking here.
Ava loves identifying the colors of her foods while eating and shopping for them. Colorful fruits and vegetables are the perfect way to nourish your children with the vitamins they need while letting them enjoy a tasty snack. You can check out all the fun she is having right here!
Kids love to play games. Making nutrition fun will help your child remember what they’ve learned.
Teaching kids about nutrients begins right at home. Get your kids involved in eating healthy by encouraging them to cook a healthy meal.
Let your child wear their own apron in the kitchen. Then, give them a task such as washing the vegetables for your meal. As you cook, talk to them about the nutrients in each ingredient.
Cooking together at home can help your child make healthy decisions the next time you eat out.
Check out these tools, tips, and recipes for you and your kids!
Make a Face
Once dinner is prepared, decorate the plate! You can purchase plates that already have a funny face printed on them. Then, encourage your child to arrange the food on their plate with a balance of vegetables, protein, and carbs to make their own funny face.
Let Them Choose
Print out a few healthy, nutritious meals. Then, let your child choose which one they want to help you cook. Giving your child the chance to make their own choice will help them feel independent.
Take the time to help them understand which foods offer which nutrients. Some recipes now list the nutritional value along with the recipe.
Let your child help you plan the menu for the week as well. Planning ahead will help everyone prioritize the importance of nutrition. As a result, you’re teaching kids about nutrition and getting them involved in making their own healthy choices.
Delicious, Nutritious Success: Your Guide Teaching Kids About Nutrition
Teaching your kids about nutrition now can help them make smarter choices in the future. With these tips, you can maintain healthy habits as a family—and have fun while you do! If you’re looking for even more guidance, check out one of our webinars on healthy eating. It’s an additional way to successfully change your family’s diet.