School project teaches children the importance of healthy eating – 06/04/2022

Did you know that malnutrition in childhood can lead to problems that harm the physical and mental development of children? In addition, a lack of healthy eating habits can lead to the appearance of more serious diseases in the lives of adults.

Major disadvantages due to poor eating habits include: diabetes, anemia, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and eating disorders. Unfortunately, this is already happening among the little ones. Brazil ranks third in the world rankings for diabetic children and adolescents. According to SUS (Unified Health System), obesity affects more than 13% of children between the ages of five and nine.

In order to change the feeding situation of children in the country, the projects try to bring the children together in the assembly of the dish and teach them the importance of trying new tastes. They include “Cousinhaus e Infancius”, an initiative that integrates the Food and Culture Institute, which was introduced in two schools in the city of S সাo Paulo this year, and the “Healthy Food, Happy Children” created by CASA in 2018. Maria Luiza Hertzar, da Krianka at FEAC Foundation Partner (Fandacao Sport Art Culture) Campinas (SP).

How does the project work?

“Cozinhas e Infâncias” which will run for two years, primarily teachers from government and non-government organizations. EMEI Donna Leopoldina, Lapate, and Way School, Baray Slingshot Children are learning recipes to reconnect with the country’s history, culture and biodiversity. After training the teachers, the little ones will start cooking and interact more with healthy food.

“Cooking with kids creates autonomy, independence, mobility. Educationally speaking, we understand that food brings a huge multiplicity and should be included in the school curriculum in an interdisciplinary way,” said Ariella Doctors, who is responsible for managing the Instituto Comida e Culture. Producer from the project.

The idea was formed in 2018 after Ariella and her team attended a private school in Sao Paulo. During the experiment, they cooked and ate with the kids and taught them different aspects of food: where it came from, how it was planted, what to do with the rest of the food, etc.

“Healthy Food, Happy Children” was designed from the observation of the little ones during lunch. Many children ate only rice and beans, others did not want to try new foods and the eating time was not pleasant.

After the school introduces the children to the steps of food preparation, from planting to cleaning and preparation, the meal time becomes more harmonious.

The importance of healthy eating in childhood

Experts agree on the importance of starting healthy eating habits before and during childhood. During the first thousand days, from pregnancy to the first two years of life, healthy eating helps the baby’s physical and cognitive development. “During this time, most of the brain and immunological development, as well as one of the major stages of growth, occurs,” said Camilla Fraga, a pediatrician at Jutta Batista in Red Sao Luiz Hospital.

When we start eating well in childhood, we will only benefit as adults. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein and good fats and low-sugar and processed foods helps maintain life and longevity and also reduces the risk of metabolic diseases.

From the moment the child develops healthy habits and is presented on the plate with a variety of biodiversity options, their taste will be wider and the palate will not be so superficial, thus increasing the chances of maintaining the habits as they grow up, even if they are so healthy by the way. Don’t try things.

When to start?

Good nutrition begins with breastfeeding. Milk must be exclusive until the age of six months. After this period, the introduction of healthy food may begin, until the child shows signs of preparation for it.

The process of recognizing new tastes and forming habits is carried out through adequate food education. The introduction of new foods should be done slowly, respecting each child’s time. The family and the accompanying pediatrician must decide whether the food should be given as porridge first or using the BLW method – infant-directed weaning.

The offer of fruits and vegetables may be the first indication due to the sensitive exploration and nutritional content. It is important for the child not to come in contact with processed foods and to give priority to fruits and vegetables in addition to animal protein and to follow the same diet for the whole family.

Also, everyone eating the same thing can help both during the introduction of baby food and older children who have not yet developed healthy eating habits. When kids see that the adults in the house are eating the same food as them, the foods start to feel familiar. In addition, the little ones start to feel safe and willing to try.

Ways to introduce healthy food

If your child is not introduced to healthy foods as a child, there are ways to introduce them. You can substitute manufactured snacks with fruits, vegetables or homemade cookies. “Our role is to give children new flavors and opportunities to increase their curiosity about these foods. If they do not like the look, smell or taste of the food, their choice of not eating it will be respected,” he said. Ann Botelho, Professor of Nutrition and Health Sciences at UFS (Federal University of Sergipe).

Not having over-processed foods at home can be another way. However, it is not only possible to improve the child’s eating habits, the whole family needs to be involved. Using creativity while feeding and not having screen presence during meals will also help. We can use our own food artificiality to attract attention, combining colorful foods that are arranged in a way that pleases the baby’s eyes.

“It’s fun to draw pictures with food, but I believe that when children interact more with food, like planting a small tree at home, they become more aware. When they get their hands dirty, they absorb the importance of food better. For food, for her body and for both, “said Ariella

Source: Ariella DoctorsResponsible for the management of the Food and Culture Institute and the creator of the “Kitchen and Childhood” project; Renan BarretoPediatrician at Sওo Camillo Hospital; Camilla Fraga, hospital pediatrician shoes Batista, from Red Sao Luiz; Ann BottlehoeProfessor of Nutrition and Doctor of Health Sciences at UFS (Federal University of Sergipe); Cynthia Carla RodriguezUFPB (Federal University of Paraiba) nutritionist and professor of nutrition; Rodrigo PinheiroEpidemiologist and Professor of Nutrition at UFPB.

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