Teachers have the potential to influence children's eating habits. The role of a teacher is not just teaching. It extends beyond the classroom to prepare students for life. They are educators who have the power to equip their students with knowledge in different areas of education. They help in the holistic development of the child when away from home. Nutrition education is one such area of education that the teachers can have a great impact on and help students develop positive eating behaviours and healthy habits. This process can be facilitated efficiently with the help of appropriate tailored nutrition materials developed by qualified nutrition personnel and with the school support to promote nutrition education as a consistent academic subject.
Teachers Role in Nutrition Education:
It is important for teachers to familiarise themselves with the nutrition education program materials and also the habits they want to inculcate in students.
Children have highly impressionable minds. They learn and accumulate a lot of information and habits by watching the adults around them. Therefore, role modeling is extremely important and the best form of teaching.
Nutrition education benefits not just the children but also the health of teachers and their families. Providing curriculum information should be a fun process for the teachers and the children.
In early childhood nutrition education, teachers need to help children foster positive development of eating behaviours during mealtimes. They can do this by monitoring and guide children during children’s mealtimes.
Allow parents to be involved in the nutrition education process. Give them regular feedback which can help them understand their children's developmental needs. This can also help parents understand and reinforce at home the information that is taught at school.
Children remember and learn better through activity based learning. Teachers of young minds are creatively at their best. Encourage learning through enjoyable creative activities.
Teachers need to help children understand the importance of physical activity and drinking sufficient water along with healthy eating habits. Teachers need to role model all these habits for their students and make it a part of their own lifestyle as well.
Ensure any additional use of resources and reference materials is from reliable sources such as university publications and authorised and verified nutrition sites. Information provided to children must be fact based and not opinion based.
Teachers can also verify information with a Registered Dietitian that the school can appoint. Registered Dietitians are educated and qualified individuals in the field of nutrition science.
Juvenate Wellbeing is an ardent propagator of Early Childhood Nutrition Education in preschools and school. In line with a curriculum based subject for children from the age of 3 years, we ensure teachers of these children are trained in the delivery of the topics through our Teachers' Training Program. Our teachers' training program is a certified program that concentrate on the health and well being of the teachers as well as the children they will educate.