Mandated Nutrition Classes for all!
We live in a country where obesity is becoming common place. To have a few extra pounds is normal. Can’t lose the weight? We have surgical options or cosmetic options for you. Too busy to cook? We deliver almost anything, and there is a drive through around every corner with cheap options so you can eat more. As a society we are appalled by the amount of obese children but yet we really do nothing to prevent it.
What we have not done is go to the source of the problem which is proper nutrition. I grew up without being provided any sense of proper nutrition. I can read the labels on boxes but only have a basic understanding if it should or shouldn’t be eaten.
High school students should be required to take a basic practical nutrition class, and I am not saying a class where students are taught they need to eat x amount of servings of grains, but rather show them what a serving is, show them specifically how to get that serving met. Guide students through the food pyramid to make it real and practical in lieu of some theoretical guideline they are supposed to follow. Help students develop practical easy meal plans so they can eat a nutritious diet in lieu of running through the nearest drive thru window. Teach them how to succeed, if they must go through the drive thru, provide them the tools to help them determine the healthiest options. Find recipes for nutritious but tasty snacks that the students can eat on a daily basis.
Students sometimes don’t or can’t eat certain foods. Help them find alternatives so they continue to meet healthy living standards without turning to the junk food alternatives. If it is discovered that students don’t know how to cook, some aspects of home economics can be tied into this class by having students actually make the meals. They can tangibly feel how easy it is to make the right choices. If students say they don’t have the time to cook a meal or it needs to be ready when they get home then teach the value and versatility of a crock pot.
This class would be about finding solutions to their obstacles and helping them to succeed. I firmly believe if we provide students the foundation of how to practically eat healthy in an economical manner then they can succeed. I think we have become a lazy nation when it comes to food. We would rather pop something out of the freezer or run through the drive thru, or order in than take the time to actually cook. With a few simple skills we can eat healthy and save money but these skills have to be taught.