During British Nutrition Foundation’s Healthy Eating week this week (1st-5th June 2015), I volunteered myself to go into my daughters nursery school to talk to the children about my job and healthy eating. Nursery school is for children aged 3-4 years and at my daughter’s nursery they go every weekday morning or afternoon. My daughter goes in the morning, but I also repeated my talk for the afternoon session to. In my daughters morning session I felt I was having a sneaky peak into their world of nursery, watching them do the register by singing everyone’s names and singing the date song!
There was 30 children in morning nursery today, all sitting on the carpet looking expectantly at me! I talked about my job, said I worked in a hospital and advised people what to eat. I then asked them what they though we needed to eat food for. Lots of little hands went up – to be healthy, to make us feel full, give us energy (I was impressed with this one!). I told them we also needed food to grow and they could tell me which parts of the body grow – hair, nails, bones (said my daughter – at least she does listen to me when I go on about healthy eating at home!).
To make it a little interactive I asked the children to pick out the fruit and veg in my bag and tell me what they were. They guessed all the names which was great. I then asked them to stand in colour order and the children could tell me they were colours of the rainbow… eat lots of different colours of fruit and veg to be healthy! We did get them in the right order of a rainbow (unlike my photo I have just noticed – opps!).
The children have fruit or veg every day at nursery as a snack, today they had orange and red fruits – carrots, tomatoes and satsuma’s. This is part of the school fruit and vegetable scheme which entities each child aged 4-6 years in school to a free piece of fruit or veg everyday. This is great, so children can eat healthy snacks with their friends. Milk is also given out to drink as all under 5’s are entitled to free milk in schools, good for those growing bones!
I think it is very important to teach children from a young age about healthy eating, make it fun. I would encouraged any other Dietitians to volunteer themselves to go into their local nursey or school to talk about healthy eating… !