the act or process of nourishing or of being nourished.
the science or study of, or a course of study in, nutrition, especially of humans.
the process by which organisms take in and utilize food material.
food; nutriment.
the pursuit of this science as an occupation or profession.

The Importance of Good Nutrition
Nutrition is critical for health and development. Better nutrition leads to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and longevity. Balanced diets should be promoted to ensure that the nutritional needs of students are met, for a healthy growth.

Vegetables and fruit contain phytochemicals, or ‘plant chemicals’. These biologically active substances can help to protect you from some diseases. Research shows that if you regularly eat lots of fruit and vegetables, you have a lower risk of:
  1. Type 2 diabetes
  2. Stroke
  3. Heart (cardiovascular) disease – when fruits and vegetables are eaten as food, not taken as supplements
  4. Cancer – some forms of cancer, later in life
  5. High blood pressure (hypertension).
  6. Malnutrition
  7. And you feel better!

Maximum health and protection against disease comes from eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines recommend that adults eat at least five kinds of vegetable and two kinds of fruit every day.

Foods of similar colours generally contain similar protective compounds so try to eat a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables every day to get the full range of health benefits. For example:
Red foods – like tomatoes and watermelon contain lycopene, which is thought to be important for fighting prostate cancer and heart disease.
Green vegetables – like spinach and kale contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect against age-related eye disease.
Blue and purple foods – like blueberries and eggplant contain anthocyanins, which may help protect the body from cancer.
White foods – like cauliflower contain sulforaphane, which may also help protect against some cancers.

Food and eating are part of the way we live our lives. Many factors help to shape and change the way we eat. These include:
• cultural and family background
• the kinds of foods that are available to buy
• time available for shopping, cooking and food preparation
• personal likes and dislikes
• food advertising
• knowledge about food and nutrition
• access to transport
• money available to buy food.
Note; the BMI is not a suitable measure for children.

Within the Classroom and Activities:
How to contribute to the improvement of the nutrition and health of students through health and nutrition interventions. Develop activities or a project for nutrition interventions as an entry point for the development of health-promoting schools. Improvement of the food intake and dietary behaviours of the students through improved nutrition education and improved school-meal services.

- Have the ‘Australian Guide to Healthy Eating’ or the ‘Healthy Living Pyramid’ displayed in the room (see images below).


- Have ‘5-minute fruit’ or ‘brain food’ snack time for the students in the morning.
Fruit and Veg awareness. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. Research shows they can also help protect against some diseases. Most Australians will benefit from eating more fruit and vegetables as part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy active lifestyle.
- A great introduction activity to Nutrition, and to see how much the students know, is to start (can add to later) a Fruit and Vegetable Alphabet chart. What begins with A, B, C etc. Some tricky ones might be D – Dragon fruit, H – Honeydew, I – Substitue for Iceberg Luttuce, J – Jakefruit, S – Starfruit, U - Ugli-Fruit, X – Xigua and Y – Yellow Zucchini. Great visual and can add as many to each letter as you can think off. Extension, add all plants you can eat to this list ( ). Students will bring their prior knowledge, and learn from others, and need to research. Could be a home work challenge, to find more? Or to write/draw the letters of their name using fruit and vegetable pieces.
- “Around the World” game where children sit at their desks, one child to stand behind another child who’s sitting in their seat. Teacher says either ‘vegetable’ or ‘fruit’ and child to say a type of food quickest, wins that round and moves onto the next student. Students not allowed to mention a fruit or vegetable that has already been mentioned, need to keep thinking of new types.
- School to create a blog for their school/classroom, displaying their work from current topics, visuals and recordings.
- “Fruit Heads” or “Vegetable Heads” Three students to sit out the front with a name of a vegetable over their head where they can’t see it. To ask the rest of the class yes or no answers until they know what vegetable they are. Ie am I green? Am Hard?
- Create ‘Who am I’ sheets for students in another class. Describe a fruit or vegetable without saying it’s name. This is a fun activity that links to Literature (writing and speaking) and encourages students sharing information with other students. Extension: Could make QR codes, for children to scan, find the “who am I’ code with the ‘answer’ code.
- Students to each bring a healthy recipe into class, could be snack for your lunch box, a sandwich, breakfast or dinner, and get all students to type in the same font/size and create a healthy cookbook. Can print and school and bind (school or elsewhere – one of parents might have binder at work, just need to buy spine/bind). There could be a copy per student, or just one for the class and one for the library. Can scan recipes and put onto school website/blog. Links to Literacy and uses Technology. Extension: Students to split into smaller groups and make a few of the healthy recipes for the class lunch one day. Great skill to know how to cook something – a lot of children don’t know, especially healthy items (many bake sweets). Click here for great recipes:
- Students attended a health education class, could be once a week o once every two weeks – depending on timetabling. If there was no time for a health class in a school's curriculum, nutrition-focused morning or afternoon talks and/or other extracurricular activities were added to the school day. You could integrated instruction concerning nutrition-related topics into other subjects such as arts and language composition.

More Information:
- Australian Guide to Healthy Eating; gives us information about public health, government programs out there, and links to more information, and National Food Selection Guide (alternative to the Healthy Living Pyramid).
- Nutrition Australia; Tells about news and events, general information of Nutrition and includes the Healthy Living Pyramid.
- Heart Foundation; For healthy living, active living and research – website aimed for older years.



lack of proper nutrition; inadequate or unbalanced nutrition.

Chickpea Salad Recipe:

(Photo of salad at top of this page) This salad is slightly spicy and refreshing!

2-3 400g tins of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup currents soaked in 150ml lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 bunch of Italian parsley, washed and finely chopped
! red onion, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
2 tablespoons regular curry powder
1/2 cup olive oil

Yoghurt Dressing
2 cups greek style yoghurt
juice of a lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
! teaspoon ground coriander

Combine salad ingredients and spread on a large platter. Combine the yoghurt dressing ingredients. Close to serving time, dollop the yoghurt dressing into the centre of the salad. As people help themselves, the dressing will slowly mix into the salad.