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Why Parents Need Nutrition Education

Nutrition education for parents can be a game changer, not only for building confidence, but for potentially changing the health trajectory of our nation’s kids.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why nutrition education for parents is needed, now more than ever
  • The connection between lack of education and child health problems
  • Whether educating parents even works
mother and son in the kitchen

The Power of Education

Education is a powerful thing. Collectively, we value it. We invest in it. And we prioritize it.

We know education changes us, our loved ones, and makes us more aware and, well, better.

Here are some examples of how we use education to benefit ourselves:

  • We put teens through driver’s education to make sure they know how to drive a car safely. They learn to keep themselves safe, and others.
  • When parents take a birthing class, they learn about how to deliver a baby. This keeps the baby safe, the mother safe, and everyone aware of how things will progress.

Parents Don’t Get Enough Nutrition Information

Yet, when it comes to educating and preparing parents for the job of nourishing and feeding their child, there’s a big gap.

Sure, parents get a little hand-holding early in their child’s life. They make routine trips to the pediatrician for check-ups. A lot during the first year, and annually for the years afterward.

But, this hand-holding doesn’t focus on nutrition or feeding. It might come up in conversation, but it isn’t the main topic.

Feeding and nourishing kids is something parents do daily.

Every. Single. Day.

In fact, several times a day. And when you tally that up through childhood, we’re looking at thousands of meals and snacks.

Yet, parents receive next to no formal education in nutrition and feeding kids.

And that’s a real shame.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Maya Angelou

Parents Need More Education in Nutrition

Let’s face the facts. Children’s health isn’t getting any better. If you read the headlines or the research, you know it’s getting worse.

Childhood obesity rates are up. Despite ongoing measures to turn the tide, we haven’t cracked the code, or moved the needle.

Eating disorders are on the rise in kids under age 12 and in boys. This is due, in part, to a disruption in the relationship with food.

Children with food allergies, ADHD, and picky eating are also more prevalent now than ever before.

While you could argue these conditions stem from genetics, environment, or some other factor, you can’t deny that food, eating and parenting play a role.

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