Should teachers be allowed to influence the diet of the children in their care?
Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, Clinical Nutritionist at Dubai’s Mediclinic Welcare Hospital Amera Varghese has some tips for you to encourage young ones to eat better.
• Provide healthy, delicious and kid-friendly menus at cafeterias. Promote the availability of healthy snack foods with whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein foods as their main ingredients.
• Provide healthy choices for lunches because, more than at other meals, kids have control over what they eat because they’re away from home.
• Set up fruit and vegetable bars at the school canteen and offer healthy food options in vending machines.
• Educate students about what types of food are healthy. This will give them confidence to make good choices
• Start offering healthy, nutritious food for special days or events in school and organise healthy days at school to demonstrate the importance of healthy eating.
• Put up posters around school focusing on healthy eating.
• Educate children about portion control.
• Get students involved in cafeteria menu planning.
• Encourage the growing of food in school gardens as this can be a hands on learning opportunity that can be integrated into a wide range of areas.
• Teach your child what types of food are healthy. This will give them confidence to make good choices.
• Pack healthy foods in their school lunchboxes or as snacks and as party food.
• Support healthy school activities.
• Get your kids involved in planning meals and take them grocery shopping to have real hands on experience.
• Make healthy snacks available at home and give them the freedom to choose. If you keep healthy food at hand, children will eat it as it is available.
• Don’t place restrictions on food as this can increase the chance of a child developing an eating disorder.
• Always praise healthy food choices and don’t criticise any unhealthy food choices they may make.
• Set a strong example at home. Be a role model because kids will always try to copy the adults and this will affect the choices they make now and in the future.