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Nutrition in Children:. Ages Birth - 5. Teaching Children about Food Safety. By Uko Barriere Work Sited: Iowa State University; University Extension. Teach hand washing: Careful hand washing is one of the best ways to stop germs from spreading.

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teaching children about food safety
Teaching Children about Food Safety

By Uko Barriere

Work Sited: Iowa State University; University Extension

  • Teach hand washing: Careful hand washing is one of the best ways to stop germs from spreading.
    • Talk about all the things hands do: clap, make clay figures, build sand castles, pet animals, carry food to your mouth. Hands are very busy and must always be washed with soap and water before handling food.
    • Let children look at their hands with a magnifying glass. Remind them that dirt and germs can hide in the lines, cracks, and wrinkles.
    • Let younger children personalize their ideas about germs by tracing their hands – or making a finger print – and then adding eyes, nose, mouth and hair.
Help children practice
    • Place sinks, soap, water and paper towels at children’s height for hand washing and clean-up. You may need to provide a stop stool for the sink but try to hand towels low.
    • Spills are more likely when counter and tables are too high for children to work at comfortably.
    • Reserve one space for sandwich or cracker spreading. Or, provide children with their own small cutting boards.
    • Use plastic squeeze bottles to hold jellies, peanut butter, mustard, mayonnaise, catsup, and other spreadable ingredients use in snack or meal preparation.
    • If children are being taught to help with food preparation, they should only touch the food they prepare and eat. Separate utensils should be provided for each one.
    • Individually packages food, either commercially bought or prepared by staff, should be used whenever possible.
  • Make learning fun
    • Use stickers to teach where foods are stored. Use large ones of different colors on the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboard.
    • Relate storybook monsters who like to eat up things- like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk and the monsters in Where the Wild Things Are – to tiny “monsters” – germs and bacteria – that are always ready to attack foods and make them unsafe.
health quiz
Health Quiz

TisShira Andrews; Work Sited:


  • 1. Contaminated food usually looks, smells or tastes spoiled.
  • 2. A cutting board should be thoroughly washed in hot soapy water after preparing raw meat or poultry.
  • 3. Fruits and vegetables can carry dangerous bacteria.
  • 4. The best way to defrost meat is slowly at room temperature.

Answers ->

1. False - There are two kinds of bacteria that can grow in food, those that cause illness and those that cause food to deteriorate and develop unpleasant odors. The bacteria that cause food poisoning don't necessarily cause food spoilage, so can not be detected by the appearance or smell of the food. Bacteria that cause spoilage often don't cause illness but do affect the flavor and quality of the food.
  • 2. True - Raw meat and poultry may contain bacteria that could be spread to other foods placed on a contaminated cutting board. Plastic or glass cutting boards are easiest to keep clean. They can be sanitized by placing them in the dishwasher, washing them with hot soapy water or cleaning with a mixture of 1 tsp chlorine bleach to 1 quart of water. Don't forget to sanitize the cleaning cloth or sponge used to wipe up juices from raw meat before reusing it. Sponges can be put in the dishwasher, cloths should be laundered. Paper towels could be used and thrown away.
  • 3. True - While most food poisoning is caused by raw or undercooked animal products, any raw agricultural product can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Food borne illness has been traced to cantaloupe, tomatoes, strawberries, scallions, alfalfa sprouts and leaf lettuce. Fresh produce should always be washed in clear running water before eating it. Melons and other thick-skinned produce should be washed before cutting into them.
  • 4. False - Frozen foods should be thawed in the refrigerator, or microwaved and then immediately cooked. Thawing at room temperature allows the outside of the food to reach dangerous temperatures even though the center of the food may remain frozen.
nutrition faqs
Nutrition FAQs
  • Q: What exactly is healthy diet?
  • A: A healthy diet provides all the nutrients we need in a day. For students that means at least 3-2-3-2-6:• 3 servings from the Milk Group (4 servings for ages 9 and older)• 2 servings from the Meat Group• 3 servings from the Vegetable Group• 2 servings from the Fruit Group• 6 servings from the Grain GroupStudents who are growing, physically very active or bigger may need more servings from the Five Food Groups. But for all students 3-2-3-2-6 is the very least they should eat each day! For older students it's 4-2-3-2-6.
foods to avoid
Foods to Avoid

Complied by Erica Penn

  • In this list of fruits, which ones should you keep your child away from? All of them!
    • Ripe bananas
    • Pineapples
    • Raisins
    • Watermelon
    • Frozen fruit w/added sugar
    • Canned fruit in syrup
  • All veggies are not created equal! You shouldn’t be serving your kids:
    • Beets
    • Corn
    • Parsnips
    • White potatoes (especially french fries)
    • Turnips
    • Frozen or canned veggies w/added sugar
All kids need dairy products – except these:
    • Yogurt made w/sugar
    • Whole milk
    • Half and half
    • Other high-fat dairy products
  • Will protein make kids lean and mean? Not these choices:
    • Fatty cuts of beef and lamb
    • Sugar cured ham and bacon
    • Cold cuts with sugar added
  • Bread – the staff of life? Here are the baked goods that don’t belong in your pantry:
    • Breads made with refined, enriched or bleached flour
    • Breads that have added honey, molasses, corn syrup or brown sugar
    • Breads that have more than one gram of sugar per slice
    • High-sugar pastries
  • Condemn these canned goods and condiments:
    • Baked beans
    • Sweet pickles
    • Sugar-sweetened jams, jellies, and preserves
    • Salad dressings with sugar added
how to deal with food refusal
How to deal with Food Refusal

Complied by: Megan Schropp.

Most children are able to balance food intake with activity if they are not forced to eat. You can help by providing a variety of healthy and nourishing foods for your child to choose from. Children should be served the same foods as the family, with a variety of textures and flavours for balanced nutrition. When a food is refused, the child may not be objecting to the actual food but is testing to see the effect they have on people around them. By assuming the food is to blame, some parents can get caught up in a frustrating game. Some helpful tips to deal with food refusal include:

  • Try to stay calm.
  • Don't force your child to eat.
  • Allow your child some likes and dislikes.
  • Offer new foods with familiar ones.
  • Provide a small spoon or fork and a comfortable chair.
  • Turn off the television - chat at mealtimes instead.
  • Start with a small serve and give more if hungry.
  • If a food is refused, let your child sit quietly for a few minutes before leaving the table.
  • Be a role model for your child. If you eat well, they may copy you.
nutrition in infants
Nutrition in Infants

Compiled by Esha

  • 4-6 months-  Babies need a supplemental source of iron starting at 4-6 months.  Good solids for this stage includes rice, cereal, vegetables and fruits.
  • rice cereal is recommended to start because it is least likely to provoke an allergy.
  • By 6 months a baby stills needs 3-4 servings per day of milk. 
  • At 8 months at this time babies are generally ready to eat a bit more solid food and do a bit more chewing. by the time a child is a toddler they tend to be less interested in food, as they discover the world more.  The toddlers menu should have a balanced diet.  Fruits and vegetables are good source of vitamins and minerals for toddlers