Ako Timatanga students had two sessions with Harold and Life Education’s Lisa last week and this week. Information about the importance of having a balanced diet was presented in a very engaging and interactive way for our young learners. Being inside the truck ‘classroom’ was an exciting experience, and we know that the information presented to our students will help them to set healthy habits for their futures.
We all know that children need to eat a balanced diet to maintain good health, to grow, and to function well. But how can we overcome obstacles that stand in the way every day?
Trying to conjure up inspirational and nutritional meals for children (that they will actually eat!) is a daily task that challenges many families.
Many of us are time poor, and it is much more convenient to pack lunch boxes with processed packets of food, and to resort to take-away meals after a long day.
Many children are picky eaters too, and encouraging them to extend their food repertoire can seem almost impossible!
If I could give two simple pieces of advice, it would be to include protein foods in all meals where possible, and get more nutrients into children. Smoothies with green powders and high protein yoghurts are a hit with my kids.
It is Te Wiki o te Reo Maori this week, and one way we have been reinforcing the message of eating healthy food, is to teach our students the Maori words for fruit and vegetables, and to plant some seeds together. Hopefully, growing vegetables will encourage our tamariki to eat more of them!
Giving children some say in writing the shopping list, in going grocery shopping together, and in making school lunches together, are other ideas to encourage healthy eating.
In Ako Timatanga, we have ‘Brain Food’ in our morning programme every day. This is a small healthy snack, such as a piece of fruit, or vegetables, and a drink of water.
We enjoy singing a Karakia Kai together, which translates as “Bless this food that keeps me and my body healthy and alive”. Amen to that!