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This chapter explores several lessons & activities in which your child will be:


Understanding the difference between organic, GMO, and pesticide treated food

Learning about nutrient breakdown

Eating the right amount of different macronutrients

Working to live in a local, organic food system!

Section 1

Section 1: How is our food grown?

Key Activity: Your child is going to learn the difference between organic, GMO, and pesticide grown food. Based on the number on the sticker on the fruit/veggie you can tell how it was grown!

If it starts with a ….

  • 4 and it is 4 digits long: pesticides

  • 8 and it is 5 digits long: GMO

  • 9 and it is 5 digits long: organic

Your child will then learn more about what pesticides, GMO, and organic food mean! 


It is good practice to wash your fruit/veggies even if it organic before eating! Ingesting pesticides is not good for health.

Section 2

Section 2: Reading food labels

Key Activity: Your child is going to be discovering what food macronutrients and ingredient lists are. They are going to look at an ingredient list to discuss ingredients they recognize and what they don’t. Look through the talking points below to discuss further what makes up a healthy diet. 

Macronutrient talking points: 

  • Carbohydrates aka carbs

    • Common foods with mostly carbs: bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, soft drinks, and corn.

    • Carbs help us: carbs help us provide fuel to our body!

    • Simple vs. Complex carbs: simple carbs are absorbed quickly into the body while complex carbs take longer to digest. Complex carbs are less likely to cause spikes in your blood sugar and often contain other vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs. However, simple carbs are great before working out to give you a boost!

  • Fats

    • Common foods with a lot of fat: cheese, olive oil, butter, salmon, avocado.

    • Getting enough fat in your diet is important to stay healthy — there are “good” and “bad” fats!

    • Fats help us: absorb vitamins, keep skin healthy — essential fats like omega-3 help with heart health, and they keep you full longer after a meal.

    • Types of fat: unsaturated fats come from plant foods, saturated fats come from animals, and trans fats come from processed food (try to avoid trans fats!)

  • Protein

    • Common foods: meat, fish, beans, eggs, seeds, and nuts.

    • Proteins are made up of chemical 'building blocks' called amino acids. Your body uses amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. They can also be used as an energy source.

    • There are essential & non-essential amino acids. You need to make sure you are consuming enough of the 9 non-essential amino acids (through protein sources) because your body cannot naturally produce them!


Additional resources:

Ted Talk: How the food you eat affects your brain


  • Access free courses on nutrition in a way that is digestible and easy to talk about with your child! You have to register with an email address, but the course is 100% free!

  • Healthy Teachers Program

    • More on reading food labels

  • Reading Food Labels

section 3

Section 3: Where our food comes from matters!

Key Term: By growing your own food, you and your child are helping to create a local, organic food system!

The food system the United States lives in is a Conventional Food System. The priorities of this food system is to produce as much food as possible for as little money as possible.

Problems with Conventional Food Systems:

  • Create monoculture - which can ruin soil health and cause the loss of topsoil

    • Low crop biodiversity & low biodiversity of environment

    • Threat to long term yields due to soil degradation

  • Pollute water, air, and land

    • Health risks to farm workers

  • Municipal solid waste as nearly 50 percent of transported food is lost to spoilage - and food packaging material waste.

  • Food importing increases cost of food and creates greenhouse gas emissions in transit

Answers to the benefits of a local organic food system 

A local organic food system helps…

  • The environment 

  • Growing your community 

  • The soil 

  • Local plants & animals 

  • Helping pollinators (like bees!) 

Discuss. Chat with your child about ways you can help foster an organic, local food system. Perhaps by buying fruit in season, visiting local farmers markets, and being informed about where your food is coming from!

Additional Resources:

  • Our world food system breakdown 

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