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Nutrition education is integrated into the school curriculum of Saint Lucia through various subjects across the different grades; health and family life education from pre-primary to secondary and home economics at the secondary level. it is also part of an elective subject from the Caribbean Examination Council.

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School-Based Food and Nutrition Education

In St Lucia, nutrition education is integrated into the national curriculum through the subjects of Health and Family Life Education (HFLE), from pre-primary to secondary level, and in the food, nutrition and health syllabus within home economics, at the secondary level. For students who wish to further their food and nutrition education, it's available as an elective subject under the Caribbean Examinations Council. 

Nutrition contents are also integrated as part of extracurricular activities carried implemented jointly with the Ministry of Health (Dental programme, the school meal programme, etc) and the Ministry of Agriculture through the school garden initiatives, etc. 

Main Targets
  • Pre-primary school 
  • Primary school 
  • Secondary School 
Main EducatorsTeachers
Integration within the school curriculum
  • As part of one subject: 

Health and Family Life Education (from pre-primary to secondary, forms 1 to 5)  

Food, nutrition and health syllabus within home economics (forms 1, 2 and 3) 

  • As an independent subject: 

Food and Nutrition syllabus (elective subject in forms 4 and 5, under the Caribbean Examination Council) 

  • Through extracurricular activities 

Learning Objectives

Understand the importance of food and fitness to good health. 

Adopt positive attitudes towards eating and fitness.

 

Development

The Curriculum and Materials Development Unit of the Ministry of Education is responsible for developing the HFLE curriculum. To accomplish this, it relies on the Health and Family Life Education regional curriculum framework, designed for ages 5 to 12 years in primary school and 11-16 in secondary school. This framework has been developed collaboratively by the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). For the curriculum framework from 5 to 12 years, there are some regional standards, descriptors and key skills for appropriate eating and fitness to be met, which include: 

Theme: Appropriate Eating and Fitness  

Regional Standards (RS) 

Descriptor 

Key Skills 

RS1) Build individual capacity to make healthy eating choices throughout the life cycle and reduce the risk factors associated with the development of lifestyle diseases. 

Students, need to understand that healthy eating and the right balance of safe, nutritious, and wholesome foods (are critical to optimum health throughout the life cycle, and they should acquire skills to make healthy food choices and reduce the incidents of diet-related/lifestyle diseases.   

Coping Skills (healthy self-management, self-awareness).  

 

Social Skills (communication).  

 

Cognitive Skills (critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making). 

RS3) Analyse the influence of socio-cultural and economic factors, as well as personal beliefs and choices related to appropriate eating and fitness. 

Students need to critically examine how their eating and exercise behaviours are influenced by family culture as well as social, economic and religious factors and media.  They need to learn how to make healthy choices and display habits which lead to a healthy active lifestyle. 

Coping Skills (healthy self-management, self-awareness). 

 

Social Skills (communication, interpersonal relations, assertiveness, negotiation).  

 

Cognitive Skills (critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making). 

RS4) Develop knowledge and skills to access age-appropriate sources of information, products, and services related to appropriate eating and fitness. 

Students should be capable of identifying and accessing age-appropriate information, products, and services relating to eating and fitness from reliable legitimate sources. Students should be encouraged to critically assess information, products, and services relating to eating and fitness for the attainment and maintenance of good health throughout the life cycle. 

Coping Skills (healthy self-management).  

 

Social Skills (communication, interpersonal relations). 

 

Cognitive Skills (critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making). 

 

Implementation

The Curriculum and Materials Development Unit of the Ministry of Education is responsible for implementing the HFLE and home economics curricula. Other entities like the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture also collaborate in the implementation of some nutrition education activities across the country (e.g.: exhibitions, TV or radio programmes).  

Regarding HFLE, the main learning outcomes and suggested activities from pre-primary to grade 6 are as follows: 

Pre-primary Content (Knowledge/ Skills/Attitudes): 

 Food Groups  

Specific learner outcomes (by de end of pre-primary, students should be able to): 

Explain the importance of food to good health, e.g.: to give energy, to avoid illness; 

Identify foods that give them energy; 

Identify foods that make them strong and healthy; 

Select foods that make a nutritious breakfast; 

Choose healthy snacks; 

Eat healthy local foods; and 

Explain how advertisements influence the choice of foods. 

Suggested activities: 

Group food according to food groups using real foods; 

Match food samples with foods that give energy: foods that make them grow, etc; 

Collect pictures of energy foods, that make them grow to make a collage; 

Taste a variety of food samples, and ask students to draw pictures of their favourite energy foods, use SEMANTIC FEATURE ANALYSIS (SFA) for features of various food groups; 

Select a food group and collect a number of samples that belong to the food group; 

Prepare a nutritious breakfast (foods from any three food groups); 

Collect pictures of nutritious snacks that belong to a food group sing songs and complete riddles about food; 

Group favourite snacks into healthy and unhealthy. Have a snack party; and 

Collect pictures of their favourite foods advertised on television and group them into healthy and unhealthy. 

Grade 2 Content (Knowledge/ Skills/Attitudes): Food and Nutrition 

-Food nutrients 

Specific learner outcomes (by de end of grade 2, students should be able to): 

State the importance of the different food groups to the body; 

Explain why it is important to eat foods from all the different food groups; 

Give reasons why it is important to limit food high in fat, salt and sugar; 

Explain why it is important to have breakfast; 

Predict the consequences of overeating; and 

Show preference for local healthy foods (juices, snacks, etc). 

Suggested activities: 

Group food or pictures of food into the four food groups; 

Group food items brought by students into the four food groups using SEMANTIC FEATURE ANALYSIS (SFA). Put favourite foods into food groups; 

Group a variety of food samples into a food group. Make and a sample a fruit salad; 

Plan, prepare and sample a balanced breakfast; 

Prepare various simple meals making use of as many local foods as possible; and 

Collect pictures of obese children. NB: Teacher must demonstrate sensitivity to obese children in class. 

 

Grade 3 Content (Knowledge/ Skills/Attitudes): 

Food and Nutrition 

Specific learner outcomes (by de end of grade 3, students should be able to): 

Name the different food nutrients; 

Discover that foods contain different nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, etc); 

Identify food necessary for proper growth and development; 

Investigate the importance of water to the body, e.g. flushing of kidneys; 

List the functions of the parts of the alimentary canal; 

Explain the process of digestion; 

Give reasons why the lack of nutrients can lead to deficiency diseases; 

List diseases caused by lack of nutrients; 

Name and classify food from plants, e.g. bulbs, leaves, lettuce, cabbage, stem, tubers, potatoes, roots, and carrots; 

List nutrients and corresponding foods that are necessary for the proper functioning of eyes, teeth, skin, etc; 

Monitor foods eaten to encourage healthy living; 

Appreciate that foods should be eaten in the right amounts; 

List the effects of overeating; 

Demonstrate the ability to choose eating habits that enhance their growth; 

Demonstrate the ability to choose and participate in physical activities; 

Identify the factors that impact our choice of food (advertisements, taste, colour, peer influences, give-aways at supermarkets, packaging affordability, culture, family influences and habits, etc); 

Comment on the nutritious value of a typical meal from another culture that they like; 

State steps they would take to improve their nutritional habits; and 

Explain the value of exercise and nutrition to growth. 

Suggested activities: 

Allow students to categorize actual foods based on nutrients; 

Allow students to prepare a balanced meal; 

Allow students to categorize nutrients in terms of their functions; 

Allow students to use pictures to show persons lacking nutrients; 

Allow students to carry out/investigate project of the value of water to the body; 

Allow students to record and classify food for two lunches/dinners; 

Given the menu, allow students to prepare a balanced meal; 

Allow students to build puzzles involving food groups. Using a pie chart, prepare different pieces depicting different nutrients (a puzzle can be used for the dinner or breakfast menu); 

Allow students to collect and list food advertisements and categorize them into their likes and dislikes; 

Allow students to assess the nutritional contents of the foods which they like and dislike; 

Allow students to sing or repeat food advertisements which are advertised on TV; 

Allow students to create counter advertisements to highlight the value of proper nutrients in foods; 

Allow students to discuss food from other cultures which they like and assess the nutritional value of those foods; 

Allow students to prepare nutritious sandwiches during class time indicating nutrients contained; and 

Invite a resource person to talk to students about the amount of different types of foods which they need at their stage of development. 

Grade 4 Content (Knowledge/ Skills/Attitudes): Food and Nutrition 

Food Nutrients  

Digestion 

Digestion Cont’d 

 

Specific learner outcomes (by de end of grade 4, students should be able to): 

Name the six major nutrients; 

List the functions of the various nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, water and minerals); 

Name local foods which contain each of the nutrients; 

Group foods with similar nutritious value; 

Select foods from the four food groups to plan a nutritious breakfast; 

Differentiate between nutritious and non-nutritious snacks; 

Examine the nutritious value of their favourite breakfast cereals; 

Use refuse purchase to make a nutritious meal/drink, e.g., pineapple skin, tamarind threads; 

Identify persons who produce foods; 

Describe the deficiency diseases; 

Identify the digestive juices/enzymes found in the different parts of the alimentary canal; 

List ways of helping the proper functioning of the digestive system, e.g.: limiting the use of sugars, salts, fats, chewing food properly; eating regular meals; and eating foods that are well prepared; 

Identify the characteristics of a good snack; 

Identify factors that influence eating patterns and habits (availability, cost, financial power, peer influence, TV advertisements and other types of advertising, movies, celebrations, cultural influence accessibility, taste, family eating habits, etc; 

Make personal goal statements to improve eating habits; 

Develop a preference for the nutritious foods that are available; and 

List the health conditions under which foods should be purchased and eaten. 

Suggested activities: 

Allow students to build a web depicting food nutrients; 

Given a list of foods, allow students to categorize them according to nutritional content; 

Allow students to write a menu for breakfast; 

Allow students to discuss the nutritional value of snacks and foods they like. Let them make decisions about them in terms of nutritional content; 

Allow students to use local foods to prepare a nutritious drink/meal; 

Allow students to make a tree to show all the people who are involved in food production; 

Allow students to research deficiency diseases in small groups as a project; information can be obtained from Health Centres with the aid of a diagram of the digestive system; 

Allow students to show where juices and enzymes are produced and utilized during digestion by the body; 

Allow students to carry out an investigation into each other's eating patterns using a questionnaire; 

Allow students to assess the truth in the chain of food advertisements and then prepare counter-ads; and 

Allow students to assess the nutritional value of foods prepared in St Lucia for Jounen Kweyol, etc. 

Grade 5: Content (Knowledge/ Skills/Attitudes): Food and Nutrition 

-Nutrients 

Specific learner outcomes (by de end of grade 5, students should be able to):  

Carry out a survey and compare the food production with the food consumption of a few households and represent findings on a graph; 

Locate main areas in St Lucia engaged in food production; 

List the functions of plant food nutrients to the body; 

Give reasons for the need to include plant foods in their diets; 

Explain the source of processed foods, e.g. animals, and plants; 

Explain the process of digestion, assimilation and excretion; 

List disorders of an excretory system, e.g. bed wetting, kidney or bladder stone, painful urination; 

Identify proper ways of storing food; 

Investigate the cause of food spoilage and how it can be prevented; 

Analyze diets for the presence of the six nutrients; 

Examine the value of new foods on the market; 

Appreciate that there is enough food to eat compared to children who are deprived; 

Express and show concern for the less fortunate by making food contributions; 

Locate areas around the world where children experience food scarcity; 

Explain the importance of a balanced diet for proper growth; and 

State the environmental conditions under which food should be eaten. 

Suggested activities: 

Allow students to classify foods based on their sources, e.g. bulbs, tubes, stems, etc; 

Allow students to interview individuals who produced foods (e.g. farmers, fishermen) to compare what they eat in relation to the food they produce, e.g. investigate whether the farmer who produces grapefruit sells them to purchase caned juices; investigate whether the fisherman sells the fish to purchase frozen meats; 

Allow students to carry out a simple experiment to show how food physically changes in the mouth/stomach; 

Allow students to investigate ways of storing and preserving food at home; 

Allow students to engage in preserving some foods; 

Allow students to examine foods on the shelves and identify preservatives contained in them; 

Allow students to visit supermarkets to examine the expiration dates of food items on the shelves; 

Allow students to experiment with the preservation of some foods; 

Allow students to prepare a balanced lunch indicating the nutrients contained; 

Allow students to record eating habits in an effort to encourage healthy eating; 

Allow students to choreograph an aerobic routine; 

Allow students to record the meals eaten for a week on a graph and assess food intake based on the nutrients; 

Allow students to investigate the nutritional value of new food products; 

Allow students to contribute to the less fortunate, e.g. collecting money from classmates and schoolmates; and seeking donations of actual food from supermarkets; 

Allow students to identify groups or individuals to which food must be given; and 

Allow students to research international organization which contributes to feeding the poor in St. Lucia and the type of contribution made. 

Grade 6 Content (Knowledge/ Skills/Attitudes): Food and Nutrition 

Specific learner outcomes (by de end of grade 6, students should be able to): 

Name deficiency diseases caused by lack of nutrients; 

List foods that prevent deficiency diseases; 

List eating disorders caused by poor eating habits, e.g. bulimia, anorexia, neurosis; 

Name a variety of foods which contain the nutrients; 

List the factors that influence individual diets; 

Select some foods and investigate how they can be preserved; 

Use research skills to find out the functions of food additives; 

Formulate arguments for/against processed foods; 

Give reasons why food should be conserved; 

Accept that food should be conserved and not wasted; 

State the hygienic conditions under which food should be handled; and 

Appreciate the need to be a discriminating consumer. 

Suggested activities: 

Allow students to research diseases caused by lack of nutrients and the foods needed to prevent such deficiencies; 

Allow students to collect pictures of persons suffering from various eating disorders; 

Allow students to plan a nutritious meal; 

Allow students to research the various types of eating disorders; 

Allow students to engage in discussions focusing on what influences their diets; 

Allow students to compare their diets to those of other cultures; 

Allow students to write on the topic of how I will influence my Parents to prepare more nutritious meals; 

Allow students to collect empty food containers and boxes to observe the presence of additives and preservatives in those foods; 

Allow students to research the advantages and disadvantages of additives and preservatives; and 

Allow students to plan and prepare nutritious dinners. 

 

Teachers serve as the primary frontline educators. While there are guidelines available to support them in delivering the HFLE curriculum, they can also utilize additional resources as needed. Parents are involved in activities related to the caring of school gardens. 

 

The learning model for HFLE is mostly practice-based and focused on acquiring new skills using pair work and small group work, class discussions, debates, brainstorming exercises, role play, questioning, reading activities, case studies, storytelling, etc.  

The main topics covered in the food, nutrition and health component within Home Economics include 1) Diet and health, 2) Nutrition and health; 3) Meal planning, preparation and dining; 4) Food, science and technology; 5) Kitchen design and equipment management; 6) Consumerism and purchasing of food; and 7) Food-management, preparation and service The detailed content, learning outcomes and suggested teaching and learning activities of this component can be found here. The main learning model mixes both knowledge and skills-based approaches.  

Monitoring and Evaluation 

HFLE is evaluated using formal assessments such as end-of-term exams and national exams (Minimum Standards Test or MST) for the primary level. In secondary schools, there are no formal exams for this subject. For the food, nutrition and health component of the home economics curriculum, there is a national examination from the Caribbean Examination Council where students take a written exam with a practical component (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate). During the school year, students carry out specific projects, written and end-of-term assignments. 

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