Making Healthy Food Choices

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Food and nutrition for healthy, confident kids
Get a student bus pass? If you have doubt when you're shopping or eating out, choose something else. Rated ratings Rate this item Feedback Tell us what you think. Young children 2 to 3 years old need the same number of servings as others, but smaller serving sizes except for milk. Retrieved 12 June

Australian Dietary Guidelines

Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs)

The survey identified that one in five children were overweight and one in ten were obese, and as children got older, their diets became less healthy. For example, younger children ate fruit more often, consumed less sugar and sweets, and had a lower rate of overweight and obesity than older children. The quality of school-produced food is most critical for children who buy food from the school canteen on a regular basis.

This evidence is supported by results from the national nutrition survey Ministry of Health, conducted on people 15 years and over. These showed that only two out of five to year-olds met the recommended number of daily vegetable servings and less than two out of five boys aged 15—18 met the recommended number of daily fruit servings per day.

Therefore, adolescents are especially likely to benefit from a healthy food and nutrition environment at school. Many early childhood education services and schools are already aware of the important links between food, health, and learning and are taking steps to improve the food and nutrition environment, for example, by providing a pleasant environment in which food and beverages are consumed and by giving consistent, accurate, messages about food.

Children and young people may spend a large proportion of their waking day in early childhood education services or at school. Approximately one-third of their daily food intake is consumed on the premises, and the proportion may be higher for some young children attending all-day early childhood education services.

This makes it important that the whole education community is aware of and supports policies guiding food and beverage choices. The foods and beverages available in the education environment can influence what children eat. However, the majority of children 84 percent brought their lunches to school. Policies about what is sold or served on the premises can help to ensure that healthy choices are available. Such policies can provide a framework for all staff and suppliers of food and beverages in education settings and can include requirements governing safety and hygiene.

Choices about food and beverages can have an impact on the wider environment as well as on health. Cooking food from scratch can save money and resources because others are not being paid to prepare, package, transport, and advertise the meals. Food prepared using fresh ingredients is also healthier and more nutritious. Cooking can be a creative and socially important activity. Research shows that when families eat meals together, children are more likely to achieve at school and have fewer health problems.

Teaching and learning opportunities that encourage eating food together can provide opportunities to involve communities. Adopting the principles of sustainability can also encourage community support, help use local resources, and provide further insight into the impact of choices about food and beverages. The process of developing or reviewing a food and nutrition policy enables an early childhood education service or school to arrive at a shared philosophy about all aspects of food and beverages sold or served on the premises.

A food and nutrition policy provides guidance for the licensee and manager in early childhood education services, or board and principal in schools, about food and nutrition in their learning environments. Developing the policy is their responsibility, in consultation with the community. A policy statement could be as follows. Food and nutrition education is an integral part of a comprehensive health education programme. All young people need to be able to make food and beverage choices based on their cultural preferences and on sound knowledge and information.

Children and young people need to understand the importance of food and nutrition to all aspects of their health and well-being, including their mental, physical, and emotional health. They can also influence the eating patterns of others in their environment. Being able to prepare, cook, and serve food is an important part of making choices about food.

Being able to cook enables young people to have more control over what they eat. Preparing and cooking food provides opportunities to taste new foods and to understand the composition of food and the way ingredients behave during cooking.

It enables the transfer of knowledge in real contexts, for example, by using numeracy when calculating ingredients, budgeting, or interpreting food labels. Students can also develop their creativity and experience a sense of accomplishment.

Sharing food with others can help develop social skills. A number of teaching and learning approaches have brought about improvements in eating habits. The focus is on providing experiences that can help children learn how to stay healthy and how to develop self-help and self-care skills. Children can develop working theories about nutrition, for example, they may begin to develop skills in food preparation, to develop knowledge of healthy food choices, and to understand the cultural importance of certain foods.

The food and nutrition key area of learning in Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum states that students:. Ministry of Education, , page Best-practice teaching and learning about food and nutrition includes opportunities to critically evaluate the techniques and approaches used to influence food choices.

Through curriculum-based teaching and learning, using health promotion approaches, students can develop the knowledge and skills to take action about their own food choices and to have a positive influence on those of others. The underlying concepts of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum and The New Zealand Curriculum guide approaches to food and nutrition in schools and provide a framework for teaching and learning.

In relation to Food and Nutrition for Healthy, Confident Kids, these dimensions can be described as follows. Taha tinana, or physical well-being, includes food consumed for physical health, growth, and development; a balance of the required nutrients; and adequate hydration. Taha hinengaro, or mental and emotional well-being, encompasses the cultural traditions and mental and emotional influences on food choice. Spiritual well-being, or taha wairua, can include the specific meanings food conveys to individuals.

Children and young people can use strategies and actions designed to improve health and quality of life by:. Working in the context of health promotion enables young people to experience making autonomous decisions about food that can enhance their own health and that of others. When they make decisions for themselves, they are much more likely to develop a commitment to choosing healthy food and a balanced and varied diet based on wise food choices.

Teaching and learning approaches that encourage student involvement in health-promoting approaches can be found in the chapter Teaching and Learning. Taking a socio-ecological perspective helps young people understand how the aspects of well-being are influenced by social and environmental factors and by other people. For example, choices about food and beverages can be shaped or influenced by factors such as advertising, ethnic or cultural traditions, food costs, and the food available.

See the Competencies section in this chapter. Curriculum-based teaching and learning encourages students to acknowledge the diverse ways in which people meet their needs for food and nutrition and to develop their own attitudes, values, and commitment to making healthy food choices. Health promotion processes that involve children and young people in making choices about what is sold or served can encourage their commitment to consuming healthier foods. Health promotion processes provide a framework for young people to use as they become competent in activities centred on addressing food and nutrition issues.

Involving young people in identifying or selecting issues to address gives them a greater sense of purpose and ownership. When an issue has been agreed on, young people can engage in the action learning process. Visualise how things could be, including how to engage stakeholders, to help consider what improvements could be made to available food. Determine what is possible and identify what could help students to achieve their goal enablers and what could hinder them barriers.

Evaluate and identify what students have learned from the experience and consider further issues that may arise. Young people involved in health-promoting approaches also adopt a socio-ecological perspective, developing and applying a range of competencies. Food and nutrition is one of the key knowledge bases underpinning food technology.

Young people can develop their technological literacy in the context of food technology. For example, students can:. Within technological practice, students learn to use empowering processes. Students can develop and adapt foods that are enjoyable and healthy for sale in the school. Teaching young people the techniques of testing and evaluating food helps develop their powers of description. They can come to understand how subjective qualities are used in evaluative studies to ensure different markets are catered for.

Children and young people also have opportunities to develop understandings of and tolerance for the specific needs of others, such as those following vegetarian or gluten-free diets or diets determined by religious beliefs. Teaching and learning about food and nutrition needs to include opportunities to critically evaluate the techniques and approaches used to influence food and beverage choices.

Many learning materials and prepared programmes on food and nutrition are available to support teaching and learning. Some are specifically for the use of the classroom teacher, some are for teacher reference, and some are for young people to use. The Home Economics and Technology Teachers Association of New Zealand may be contacted for advice about food- and nutrition-related learning materials contact details can be found at Health and Physical Education Online.

Many teachers select activities from a variety of learning materials and develop their own programmes. Many educational materials are supplied or sponsored by the food and beverage industry. These materials fall into three categories: They are nearly always provided free of charge, and their format varies widely from content-only to highly developed lesson plans along with supporting content material.

Increasingly, the materials are available online as well as in hard copy. Ideally, all commercially prepared resources should be assessed to ensure that they support the principles of healthy eating. Teachers planning to use a sponsored resource need to consider whether the resource supports the curriculum focus and objectives they have selected. Before selecting learning materials, such as videos, pamphlets, posters, and books, consider the following:.

Providing opportunities for children and young people to practise health-promoting behaviour enables them to take or lead action to bring about change and enhances their motivation to learn, their ownership of the learning, and its relevance to them. Working in contexts that are based on personal, organisational, or community needs helps children to develop knowledge in meaningful ways.

Teachers and educators in early childhood education services play an important role in fostering knowledge and understanding about healthy food and nutrition and in providing opportunities for children to make healthy choices. Children are empowered to make choices about healthy food and nutrition, for example, by preparing, serving, and eating food; finding out which foods are healthy; and making choices from those provided. Learning about healthy food and nutrition choices is promoted through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places, and things in the early childhood education service, for example, through growing, harvesting, and sharing vegetables and fruit and using the produce when cooking with the children.

This provides them with a range of learning opportunities as well as encouraging them to make healthy food and beverage choices. Teachers of years 1—8, working in the context of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum, can focus teaching and learning on a variety of ways to improve nutrition.

The following example of a planned unit of learning shows how a teacher could use the health promotion process to provide a teaching and learning framework. Use the action learning process with the class to plan and carry out making a pot of soup or a salad, or having a vegetable-tasting session the whole class can share at lunchtime. Discuss suitable vegetables to bring to school, who will bring each item, and how they will be prepared and served to help make the experience enjoyable.

Many changes have already been made in intermediate and secondary schools that use health-promoting approaches to develop school food and nutrition policies. Some of these have arisen from learning assessed against NCEA achievement standards. The following plan demonstrates how one home economics teacher has used the action learning process to decide on, and address, an issue identified as a result of a class survey of eating and activity.

Unpack the following points with students to co-construct success criteria:. Contact Us Key numbers, send feedback, report problems. We want to hear from you. Nutrition Guidelines for Food, Beverages Children who eat school lunches are more likely to consume milk, meats, grains and vegetables than students who bring lunch from home.

Nutrition Guidelines The chart below provides an easy reference to the nutrition guidelines for food and beverages sold and served to students on campus. Glossary of Terms Click here to view a glossary of terms related to school food. Additional Resources Calculators Smart Snack calculator, click here. Do not use to calculate nutrition requirements for beverages. Resource Products that meet Smart Snacks, click here. Previous months of the 'Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program featured: Papaya March and April: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Enroll my child in kindergarten? Apply for a job? Get information about moving to Hawaii? Get a student bus pass? Access resources as a member of a military family? Learn more about the Common Core State Standards? Find information about the Department's budget? Find the latest Hawaii State Assessment results? If figuring out what to eat seems like taking a test, this book is the solution. In only 4 weeks, you can eat better, improve your diabetes management, and live a healthier lifestyle.

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