Start a Conversation: Why is healthy eating important?
Healthy eating gives our bodies the energy and nutrients they need to grow, play and learn. It can also help us sleep better, feel better and stay healthy as we grow.
Discuss Canada’s food guide. During the discussion, identify some common foods and ask students to identify where they fit on Canada’s food guide.
- For most meals, try to fill ½ of your plate with vegetables and fruit, ¼ with protein foods and ¼ with whole grain foods.
- For most snacks, try a vegetable or fruit on its own, or pair it with a protein food or whole grain food.
*Continue to look for opportunities throughout the school year to help students correctly identify a wide variety of foods.
Start a Conversation: What are some examples of tasty meals that meet Canada’s food guide recommendations?
- Strawberries ∙ Carrot sticks ∙ Tuna sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce & tomato ∙ Milk
- Sugar snap peas ∙ Pear ∙ Whole grain English muffin with pizza sauce, bell peppers and melted cheese
Start a Conversation: What are some examples of tasty snacks that meet Canada’s food guide recommendations?
- Whole fruit
- Veggies & hummus
- Whole grain crackers with cheese & grapes
- Cut-up fruit & yogurt
Activity Idea: Draw a plate that is divided according to Canada’s food guide. Have students fill the plate with a variety of foods by drawing them, cutting and pasting pictures, or collecting verbal suggestions.
Discuss mindful eating.
Mindful eating means taking your time when eating so that you can really pay attention to what, why and how much you are eating. This includes eating when you feel hungry, stopping when you feel full, and enjoying each bite (recognizing the smell, taste, texture and look of the food).
Discuss individual hunger cues.
Hunger and thirst cues are mindful eating concepts. Be mindful of your eating habits is a key message of Canada’s food guide. Ask the following questions (there really isn’t a right or wrong answer):
- What does it feel like when you’re hungry?
- What feelings do you notice in your head, stomach, mouth?
- What does it feel like when you’re full?
- What does it feel like when you’re thirsty?
Discuss some eating behaviours that can make it easier to feel hunger cues.
- Limit distractions when eating (e.g., screens, toys, books).
- Sit down to eat, instead of eating while playing (preferably sitting at a table with family or friends).
- Take the time to recognize how your body is feeling. Are you hungry? Are you full?
- Take your time to eat. It can take our bodies some time to tell our brains that we’re full.