I believe that it is incredibly important to start teaching children about nutrition at a very young age. That is why I have decided that it’s the perfect time to start a nutrition unit with Big B, and to kick everything off I have come up with a simple activity that helps children tell the difference between good and bad food choices.
The biggest hurdle I encountered during this activity was teaching Big B that not liking a food doesn’t make it bad for you. He kept trying to put green beans in the “bad” column because they are “yucky.”
I started out by cutting food items out of grocery store ads and magazines. I tried to focus on foods we often have around the house and that Big B would recognize. I laminated the foods so we could use them on several projects throughout our nutrition unit. Then I took a small poster board, drew a line down the center, and labeled the halves “Good” and “Bad (Should be Limited)”
When we sat down to do the activity I explained to him that the left side was for foods that were good for him, that nourished his body and helped him grow, and that the right side was for foods that were not good for you, that should only be eaten as a special treat and that would make you feel bad if you ate too much. We then spent time identifying the different foods in the pile.
Once the foods were identified he placed them in the corresponding column.
We went through each one in the pile. I would tell them how the good foods helped him grow.
Overall he seemed to pick up on the concept pretty quickly, but we will likely return to the activity a few times over the next few weeks, until the green beans and lettuce stop making their way into the bad column!