As with any Homeschool curriculum there are basic standards that you have to meet when teaching your children about health and nutrition. This might require a little bit of time and research on your part to get all the exact details, but what it all boils down to is helping our youth gain a better since of basic health and wellness. In our over-busy hustle and bustle world, nutrition and health seem to have been left far behind. Because body image and self-esteem are such huge issues for teens, and even children these days, it is crucial that our children and teens gain some basic health, nutrition, and exercise practices.
This doesn’t have to be some long drawn out boring lecture about facts and statistics or a long list of which foods are good and which foods are bad, it doesn’t even have to include a chart of the food group pyramid. In fact, the best way to teach health and nutrition is through hands on experience, examples, and practice. Teach your children how to read a nutrition label, give them pointers on what things are good and what is not so good. Have them help you make a grocery list with some healthy food alternatives on it and then take them shopping with you. Let them choose some fruits and vegetables that they want to try. Even if you think they won’t like it, it may surprise you what they like and the simple fact that they chose it may get them to try something you would never have been able to get them to even taste. Giving them the opportunity to make some choices for themselves will help them make healthy food choice and help prevent teen eating disorders.
Let your kids read the nutrition labels and compare products. Encourage them to choose the lower calorie, less sugar, and fewer carb options. Being involved in deciding what they eat, buying the food, and then helping you prepare it will not only give them crucial knowledge and life skills, but it will also help them build self-esteem and confidence by gaining knowledge and then using it to make themselves stronger, healthier people.
And don’t forget exercise in your daily routine. Even if it is just a family walk after dinner, or a play date at the park. Make sure you are doing something physically active at least 5 days a week, or as often as you possibly can. Exercise is not only great for physical health and weight management, and preventing overweight teens, but it is also great for your mental health as well. People who exercise regularly are much less likely to be depressed or suffer from other mood disorders.