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Increasing Food Literacy At Home- Teaching Kids About Healthy Food

May 14, 2020

Author: Preveena Manisekaran, RD, intern at Nutrition Connections, and student in the Masters of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

With families spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater opportunity for kids to learn about where foods come from and develop healthier eating practices. Whether it’s having conversations about healthier food choices, involving them in growing foods to teach them about sustainable food systems, or cooking with them in the kitchen, this all amounts to food literacy and a greater understanding of their roles in sustainable food systems and healthy eating.

Resources to Teach Your Kids About Healthy Food

There are several ways to teach children how produce is grown, and the different ways these foods can be prepared and eaten.

Sylvia’s Spinach, and Zora’s Zucchini are two popular kids’ books that teach children about healthy eating.

Our Eat Right Be Active Guides for Caregivers (Toddlers 12-36 Months of Age, Preschoolers Ages 3-5, and Children Ages 6-8) aim to bring healthy eating and physical activity strategies together to improve kids’ nutrition and wellness. And this Getting Kids’ Hands Dirty: Experiential Approaches to Food Education webinar shows us ways we can use sensory-based approaches to encourage children to explore, prepare, and experience healthy foods in the kitchen. Using this Foodland Ontario Kid’s Corner resource, you can teach your children about nutrition and fun facts about different foods and how to prepare produce in the kitchen with some tasty recipes.

Gardening with Kids

Gardening with your kids is a hands-on approach to teach them how foods are grown and eaten. It’s a fantastic opportunity for families to incorporate classroom lessons with gardening and then using the fruits of their labour in family meals. This Garden, Grow and Learn Guide, outlines how gardening can be incorporated into the different subjects children learn in school. Children will have an opportunity to grow different herbs and produce, and later use those ingredients to help make different dishes in the kitchen.

Interested in learning more about healthy eating or gardening for kids? Check out these great resources below:

Cook it. Try it. Like it! (pdf)

Adventures in Cooking with Kids Aged 8-12 (pdf)

Guelph Family Health Study Cookbook (web link)


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