Nutrition Education methods

Lesson 16 : Nutrition Education

Nutrition Education methods

The nutrition educator has a variety of teaching methods available

These have been grouped as

  1. Individual contacts
    These include what are known as home and farm visits. Since each persons problems are different, the personal approach through such visits result in greater understanding. They help in guessing first hand information, developing good will, establishing confidence and stimulating interest. Individual contact method has its own limitations. It consumes more time, money and labour than the other methods. However, this is the best method for establishing rapport with people and to impart nutrition education.

  2. Group contacts
    These are the commonly used forms of nutrition education and are quite effective. They include the following

    1. General meeting-A heterogeneous group is collected and certain information is passed on to the group. A large number of people can be reached by this method but proper discussion is not possible.
    2. Method and result demonstrations-Demonstration is the oldest and most effective form of education which makes two impressions one on the sense of vision and the other on the sense of hearing. Method demonstrations are useful for teaching skill. In nutrition education this can be used to teach new and better methods of cooking. Result demonstration is a method of teaching designed to show by example, the practical application of an established fact or a group of facts.
    3. Balwadi feeding programmes-These can be effectively used for educating both mother and child about good nutrition. Good food habits when inculcated in the childhood influences them all their life. A good method of teaching nutrition to the mother is to make her prepare the supplement by herself and feed the child.
    4. School feeding programmes and school gardens-Teaching nutrition in the school years will leave significant mark on the minds of the children and influence them throughout their life. Children can be educated and helped to grow the nutrition vegetable and fruits in their garden so that along with nutrition education it improves their health status also.
    5. Nutrition Rehabilitation centers and nutrition wards-The primary objective of these rehabilitation centers is the improvement of the nutritional status of the affected groups. So , nutrition education to such groups has very important role.

      Training to village level workers and other extension personnel
      -These personnel can have a definite impact on the thinking of people. Auxillary nurse /midwives are a group who when trained can pass on the knowledge of nutrition to the women , especially pregnant and lactating mothers. Hence these personel who are trainers should be trained well by group approach.

  3. Mass contacts
    Various studies have shown that the cost of nutrition education is comparatively cheaper, if mass media are used. A larger number of people can be reached in leisure time. The proper use and combination of several media at the same time, on the same subject matter, within a given area has been found to be very effective in stimulating people. Today mass media is the most commonly used media to educate both literate and illiterate population. Mass media include

    1. Print material: This includes booklets, leaflets, folders, circulars, news papers, magazines and any other printed material. While these are powerful media in the literature world, their use is limited in an illiterate population group. They involve much effort and money.
    2. Radio -Radio is a powerful medium of communication both in the rural and urban societies. Nutrition education can be effectively carried out through this media. Here, one should plan the programme in attractive way by considering the background and their way of life.
    3. Exhibition-An exhibition is a systematic display of modules, specimens, charts, and posters etc, which are more or less self explanatory. This is a method of reaching even the illiterate population. It is very appealing to be public but requires much planning and preparation in advance.
    4. Dramatizations, puppet shows-One can educate public more effectively by using traditional methods of communication, since public have sentimental appeal. These are more effective in teaching illiterate groups also. Puppet shows, folk songs and dances, dramatizations proved to be verify effective for nutrition education.
    5. Films-Films are a powerful media, through which education can be given, to both literate and illiterate groups.
    6. T.V (Television)-is also one of the strongest and effective media in educating the public. Popular talks and discussions on important nutritional problems of the region will form effective means of nutrition education
    7. Advertisements-The latest trend in nutrition education is to use advertising techniques to ‘sell’ nutrition to the masses. If information is disseminated in terms of lessons, people don’t accept it easily. But by using social marketing strategies, nutrition messages can be imparted effectively. Advertising through posters, wall paintings, hoardings and films, can be effectively used. Both positive approach, where the benefits of eating a particular food and negative approach, where the dangers of not eating the food can be emphasized, in this approach.
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Last modified: Saturday, 3 December 2011, 12:38 PM