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With all the media hype, changes to daily recommendations and a million cook books and blog posts, it can be hard teaching kids to eat healthy and to make positive choices. I’m trying to quit processed sugar for personal reasons.
I didn’t take it too far with my school kids. I simply taught my what a few key words meant e.g. processed and how to determine how many teaspoons of sugar (divide grams of sugar by 4.2) were in their chosen snacks. It linked directly with our Kitchen Garden and a unit of work I had planned that linked to a spread of areas throughout the curriculum.
I want to make it clear, I never once shamed a child for what they were eating. Most of the time, they would come and tell me that their snack had 3-4 teaspoons but it was marketed as a health snack. All I wanted to do was create awareness and encourage fruit and veggies over processed foods.
Again, with no food shaming, I’m super careful to highlight the importance of balance. I believe that kids need sugar and energy to burn. I just feel like they need the knowledge of what they are choosing to eat before chucking things in the trolley. Kids can’t always dictate what their parents bring home from the shops, so I’ve never made a child feel bad about their choices. I just like to encourage fruit over lollies and home made muffins using honey over store packaged mud cake etc.
I found the following things and ideas super helpful!
I used Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar cookbooks and website to help define terms with my children through class brainstorms and discussions. Pete Evans also has some good ideas for substituting.
We had lots of discussions about portion sizes and healthier swaps e.g. switching
- soft drink for a combination of soda water and fruit juice
- lollies for dried fruit
- chips for oven baked pita bread sprinkled with parmesan
- chips for rice crackers
- milkshakes made with ice-cream for smoothies made with frozen banana
I created my own version of this healthy eating play set as there was nothing available to purchase online at the time.
I spent hours printing, cutting and laminating games just like this. Designed to help kids categorise foods and create healthy and balanced meals, this handy little set has taken all the hard prep work out! I had my kids to design their plate and record it by drawing their meals on paper plates.
Definitely head over to healthy-kids.com.au and check out their list of resources. So many handy things in one place.
Oz Harvest is brillant. Definitely a great classroom discussion generator.
This website from Nutrition Australia is packed full of resources, including the food pyramid.
I’m a HUGE believer in Jamie’s Food Revolution. I feel that all kids should have the skill sand knowledge they need to create healthy and delicious meals. I was lucky enough to be able to base my healthy eating unit on Jamie’s Greenhouse when he teamed up with Woolworths and released the stickers. You can download a free app which showcases Jamie’s recipes here.
Looking for printable resources? Check these out
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