What Kids Can Teach Us About Nutrition

What Kids Can Teach Us About Nutrition

I want to share an observation I made years ago when I was working in a Kindergarten with kids aged 2-3. I found that the majority of kids always reach for the fruit and natural whole foods first, and not the bread. The major disagreement I had with my coworkers was that rule of “eat your bread first” that they used to impose on the tiny humans. I hate to see the autonomy of eating being taken away this way, so my opposition to this is more than my personal conviction that really, bread is not that nutritious and actually nutrient depleting. But I found that fascinating, because I always imagined that when I would first start working, I would have trouble motivating such young human beings to eat well. But it seems they naturally know how to do that already, and it’s the adults that need to observe and learn from them.

As I was talking to my mom about this, she told me that she herself as a child used to cry at home and school whenever they gave her bread. She never wanted to eat it, but in later childhood and adulthood she had no problem. I can’t help but see that intuitively we know so much when we are first born, and, as much as I have a passion for education, I can see how it can take away from what we know but can’t articulate. My mom has Hashimoto’s, and I keep wondering if as a child her body knew that gluten would not sit well with her.

I listen to two podcasts, cited below (Dang,2019; Dickson,2022) , and in several episodes, there is a discussion on how sometimes young kids will not eat a certain food if they feel it affects their bodies, but being so young, they do not have the language to say things like ‘This gives me a headache/makes my stomach hurt…’ I wish I could find the formal research behind this, but I can’t. What is interesting is Dickson (2022), in episode 2 or 3, mentioned a research that found that babies always eat the amount of calories they need, regardless of how concentrated or diluted their milk is, meaning they will drink less concentrated and more dilute milk, but in the end the same calories. Dickson did not provide citation and I was unable to find the paper on this. If there is a trial to back this up, then we really know that kids know better, and we teach them to forget and not listen to their bodies.



Dang, J., 2019. In the Kitchen With Cook Smarts: #11: School Lunches Made Easy with Laura Fuentes. [online] Cooksmarts.libsyn.com. Available at: <https://cooksmarts.libsyn.com/11-school-lunches-made-easy-with-laura-fuentes> [Accessed 13 February 2022].

Dickson, V., 2022. Kinder Nutrition – Gesunde Kindererrnährung und positive Erziehung für ein starkes Selbstwertgefühl. [online] Kinder Nutrition – Gesunde Kindererrnährung und positive Erziehung für ein starkes Selbstwertgefühl. Available at: <https://kindernutrition.podigee.io/> [Accessed 13 February 2022].