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Video games can help educate children about nutrition and health

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center has just released a report identifying video games as a useful means to educate children about health.

The report states:

"Digital games show significant potential to promote children’s growth and healthy development. They can foster skills and knowledge that help children with academic learning, as well as habits that contribute to better health."

Unfortunately, video games have been tainted by the many violent games that are widely advertised amongst teens. Many parents and teachers don't view games as a way to really teach kids using sound learning concepts.

I was really glad to see that organizations are starting to see what we already know! Video games are part of kids lives, why not use them in a productive way to help kids learn about healthy eating in a way that is meaningful and engaging. If we can't hold their attention, they are not going to listen. That is our challenge and our goal. To make nutrition fun, to help kids make positive associations with nutrition and promote healthy eating habits.

The report makes the following recommendations:

The report calls for national leadership to coordinate new research investments to build knowledge and game development and training. It urges private investors, publishers and health insurers to form partnerships to encourage entrepreneurship in digital game technologies.

The report calls for a Digital Teachers Corps to help educators integrate curriculum-based games into school and afterschool settings. It also calls for new incentives for community health providers and insurers to deploy potentially cost-saving games to prevent obesity and to promote children’s healthy habits for life.

To update the Department of Education’s Ready to Learn program, which reaches low-income 2-9 year-old children with television programming, the report recommends a new emphasis on digital media such as video games and mobile technologies.

Resources: About Our Nutrition Games for Children

Play Healthy Nutrition Games

Nutrition Education Games- Tools for Classrooms The Joan Ganz Cooney Center

Social Impact Games

Share your comments about useful new media technology for educating children about health!



1 Comment

Thursday, Aug 20, 2009 @ 03:14 AM

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Yes, its true. Video games too can have a positive impact on children. It can develop their cognitive skills, sharpen their problem solving skills and teach them anything that they are playing. It is truly one way of educating children.

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