Aline Wiara Melo Souza

Aline Wiara Melo Souza


Nutritional education activity at the João Paulo II Educational Centre

Our nutritionist explains the nutrition education project: games, exercises and activities aimed at positively influencing growth and health throughout life.

The João Paulo II Educational Centre launched a permanent nutritional education project to promote and foster a balanced and healthy diet.

Eating behaviours depend on the influences coming from the family and the society, and that’s why the Educational Centre has become an important reference point to promote a balanced diet and good and healthy eating habits.

Scientific research showed that nutritional education in early life positively affects health and growth throughout the entire life, while preventing chronical and degenerative diseases. The tools and activities include fun activities, cooking sessions to prepare easy recipes, as well as nutritionist consultancy for the school garden. Great importance was given to the nutritional assessment of smaller children.

Here some of the activities carried out at the Centre.

Year 1 and Year 2. The food traffic light.

The main goal of this activity was to teach children identify healthy food (green light), food recommended in moderation (yellow light) and food to avoid (red light); and to boost fruit, pulses and vegetable consumption and reflect on excessive use of sugar, salt and fats.

Teachers created a paper traffic light and children had to discuss where to put the pictures representing the different food items, according to their healthiness. The nutritionist is in charge of coordinating the debate between children and explaining the nutritional value of food items, while explaining why some of them are always good to eat, whereas other might be dangerous.

The colours of food

This activity is offered to students in Year 3,4 and 5. The aim is to show food qualities and properties, starting from their colours. Moreover, children can get to know them with all their senses, through touch, smell, taste and texture. Children are divided into teams based on the colours of food and they are taught the nutritional properties and benefits of their food. After that, each team prepares a set of questions to ask to other teams. If the answer is wrong, a member of the team gets blindfolded and has to recognize the food by tasting, touching and smelling it.

Guided tour to the garden

During the guide to the garden, children are taught how to recognize vegetables and medicinal herbs on the ground and they also water them. During their stay at the garden they learn about the different plants, their properties and consumption.

Lessons on coronavirus

The nutritionist gave some lessons at the library to teach children how the contamination occurs. She showed an explanatory video and a cartoon on the topic. The video explained how the infection is related to personal contact, coughing, sneezing, hand shaking and surfaces what the typical symptoms of Covid-19 are and how to recognize the it. The nutritionist also showed a cartoon on the immune system, how it protects us and reacts to defeat external attacks.

She explained how important it is to strengthen the immune system through a good diet and how nutritional substances are contained in meals at the Educational Centre.

The nutritionist suggested a game to teach students the best way to wash their hands; they were blindfolded and helped by classmates in the activity. The nutritionist also used paint on children’s hands to show them how to properly wash their hands and never miss a spot.


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