Topic 3 How to promote healthy eating to children

  • Healthy nutrition is very important for growth and development as well as it is for school success. Studies have shown that children who have an inadequate and unbalanced diet have shorter attention spans, difficulty in learning and develop behavioural disorders.
  • Acquiring healthy eating habits in childhood will affect future food choices and is one of the most important determinants of childhood health.
  • Having meals at regular times
  • Dietary habits such as eating while watching TV, skipping breakfast and frequent snacking should be avoided and family meals should be planned instead.
  • Diet should be balanced and structured according to the five food groups.
  • Portions should be controlled to prevent high calorie intake.
  • Processed foods and fast foods should be reduced.
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Engage in physical activity daily
  • Adequate sleep patterns should be established
  • Limiting screen time

Don’t forget that children imitate adults, so set a good example!

  • For a healthy diet, sufficient and balanced intake of all nutrients from various foods is required.
  • Each food is rich in different nutrients. For this reason, meals should consist of foods from different groups, so that requirements of the body can be met.

Selection of foods

Milk and dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, buttermilk

Fresh vegetables and fruits, freshly squeezed juices

Fish and other products containing omega-3

Nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts)

Meat and meat products, legumes

Bread and cereals

Foods containing saturated fat and trans fats such as chips, fried foods, chocolate, pastry products with cream, salami, sausage, hamburger

Ready-made foods with high salt content, such as sauces (ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, etc.), pickled foods and pickles, snacks (such as chips, popcorn, cereal bar)

Foods with high sugar content, such as all types of chocolates, soda/carbonated beverages, candies, sweetened fruit juices, bakery products such as cakes and cookies.

ACTIVITIES FOR FOOD SELECTION

In this section, activities are planned for children in order to develop their skills and knowledge for distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy foods and creating adequate and balanced meals.

These tools can be suggested by health professionals to parents.

ACHIEVEMENT: Being able to categorize nutrients in the 5 main food groups

MATERIALS:

  • Flash Cards (each card shows a food and there is brief information about content of relevant nutrients on the back)
  • Food Groups Panel (the 5 Basic food group headings are in columns)
  • Magnetic / Self-Adhesive food cards

*Image of the front and back sides of the flash cards

 *Food group panel

Magnetic/Self-Adhesive food cards

ACHIEVEMENT: Creating a healthy food plate for a healthy and balanced meal

MATERIALS:

  • Food cards (with a few options from each food group)
  • Plate

Create a healthy dinner plate for yourself.