Whether we make the choices regularly or not, we all know we need to eat healthfully. Our kids usually learn early on some of what’s healthy or not from adults’ reactions around them.
But, in this media-infused age, we are often bombarded with advertisements of all kinds. How can we help our children pick out what’s true within a nutrition advertisement and make healthy choices?
(Need to cover foundational nutrition information first? Check out the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate website and the American Heart Association’s page about nutrition basics. Marci also wrote about helping our kids plan healthy meals and tracking sugar consumption.)
Nutrition Advertisement Examples
Take a look at a few (at least three) nutrition advertisements with your children. Pick a few out of magazines or from online.
What do your kids notice? What kinds of phrases are used to persuade the observer to buy that product? How do companies blur the truth at times to try to convince readers it’s okay to buy their product?
This project allows ample room for creativity for mid-level elementary ages and up. Give your kids some poster board, markers/pencils, and space to create.
Your kids will create a food advertisement. This advertisement needs to mention an unhealthy food choice and offer a healthy alternative. The ad should entice the observer to make the healthy choice!
*Art Connection: During your explanation of the project, briefly discuss using color, size, and design in this assignment.
- Which colors capture attention more often? (Warm colors – red, yellow, orange)
- How does size affect the observer’s attention? (Larger sizes get more attention.)
- How can you design this ad to draw more attention to the healthy choice?
If you issue grades in your homeschool, you can offer these criteria for your kids to check for completion:
- Include one unhealthy food choice.
- Include one healthy food alternative.
- Somewhere in the ad (on print or in a script), name the food group of this food and one benefit of eating healthy.
*Creativity and legible presentation add points!
To incorporate technology, older students can create an ad with photo editing software or create a filmed ad.
Utilize this knowledge on your next grocery store trip. Can your kids pinpoint how to distinguish truth in advertising on product packages?
This idea of discerning advertising expands to other areas within science outside of nutrition presentation (like fitness, health gimmicks, etc.). How can your family apply this knowledge elsewhere?
Guest post by Caroline Flory. Caroline is a believer, wife, homeschooling momma, certified personal trainer, and former public school teacher. Check out her family fitness posts at The Homeschool Village and connect with her at her personal blog, Under God’s Mighty Hand, as well as on Twitter and Pinterest.