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PostSubject: what is nutrition education   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:19 pm

what is nutrition education
what is nutrition education

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Why Is Nutrition Education Important for School Age Children?

Why Is Nutrition Education Important for School Age Children?
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Why Is Nutrition Education Important for School Age Children?

Why Is Nutrition Education Important for School Age Children?
Overview

The only nutrition education some children get is what is offered in a school setting. This makes nutrition education for school age children a crucial part of the curriculum. The primary way young children learn the difference between nutritious foods and unhealthy foods is through education and educational activities. Understanding the importance of utilizing a nutrition curriculum can motivate school leaders to implement these important concepts.
Teaches the Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy

Many children do not know that some foods are healthy while other foods are not healthy. Lilian W. Y. Cheung and Hank Dart report in their book, "Eat Well and Keep Moving: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Teaching Upper Elementary School Nutrition and Physical Activity" that showing students pictures of healthy foods versus unhealthy foods is an important way to help them understand what food they should be eating. When children are taught the difference between nutritious food and junk food, they are more likely to make healthy choices as they grow older.
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Reduces Fast-Food Consumption

Many children eat several fast-food meals each week, and that type of food contributes to unhealthy weight gain and a high intake of saturated fat, calories and salt. Teaching children about fast-food and its dangers may motivate them, particularly older children, to make healthier eating choices, Cheung and Dart note. Introducing ways to choose healthier fare will enable students to take control of what they put into their bodies. Relating food choices to energy level and the ability to play can help motivate school age children to think about making healthier food choices.
Encourages Physical Activity

Children who eat healthy food on a regular basis are also more likely to engage in daily physical activity. Isobel R. Contento reports in her book "Nutrition Education: Linking Research, Theory, and Practice" that nutrition education and physical education go hand in hand. Children who eat right have more energy to play on the playground or to engage in sports activities than children who eat a diet high in fat and sugar. Teaching nutrition will also educate students about how regular exercise works with healthy foods to prevent dangerous illnesses.
Increases Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Many nutrition curriculums focus on the importance of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. When elementary age children are exposed to lessons and activities that focus on eating fruits and vegetables, their intake of these nutritious foods increases significantly. Cheung and Dart note that teaching children to keep track of their fruit and vegetable consumption is one way to motivate them to eat more servings each day. Nutrition education also increases the likelihood that children will continue to eat lots of fruits and vegetables as they get older.


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