Currently in the press is a lot of discussion about how almost everyone connected to child eating programs is failing to be of much help to improve kids’ nutrition. Interestingly enough, classroom surveys of kids reflects some interesting attitudes on their part about what they really want from those around them—teachers, parents, and school lunch providers.
In the group surveyed were 6-12 year old students who felt that nutritional decisions would affect their lives. Here are some of their comments:
- Kids would enjoy having some say as to what they eat.
- Kids would like to talk to parents more about meal selections.
- Kids would like to make some of their own snack choices.
- On all fronts, with all adults, kids want the eating environment to be a positive one. One that encourages them to eat, learn, and try new foods without pressure.
- All kids admitted, that the more conversation and knowledge they had, the better choices they could make.
As a side, additional information was derived from kids’ attitudes regarding nutrition. The one resounding thought that came to light was that kids really do want to eat well. They looked forward to their futures and felt that what they ate was a key factor of a happy, healthy life.
Kids today are more proactive than in previous generations. This is apparent on the playground, in the classroom, in the lunchroom, and at home.
Coming up, we will look at some of the attempts schools are making to fulfill some of the requests made by kids in the survey. Also, how the new 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines will also affect those choices/wishes that kids have today.
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.