Childhood Nutrition

B.A. in Early Childhood Education degree; with concentration in Childhood Nutrition 

Kendall College’s Childhood Nutrition concentration is designed to educate future teachers on the role nutrition plays in the lives of our youngest learners. The coursework can prepare you to not only implement life-changing nutritional best practices in your own classroom, but to make an even larger impact by influencing nutritional polices at a school and district level. This concentration is ideal for anyone who is passionate about childhood nutrition and seeks to make a lasting and positive effect on the children they teach.

Across government agencies and throughout local communities, the issues associated with childhood nutrition are more prevalent than ever, making this an ideal time to reinforce the importance of good nutrition in our schools through this highly specialized concentration. When you choose the Childhood Nutrition concentration, about three-quarters of your time will be spent learning online; the rest of each course takes place on campus, in one of Kendall’s state-of-the-art kitchens, where you will learn firsthand the important nutritional components that go into food preparation. Through the Childhood Nutrition concentration, you can learn to:

  • Understand children’s nutritional needs and the role nutrition plays in classroom behavior.
  • Explore behaviors that lead to and accelerate obesity, as well as learn to recognize the early signs of eating disorders.
  • Apply principles of scientific thinking to rigorously evaluate nutritional information.
  • Understand the role of food allergies in young children and help students and their parents navigate these challenges.
  • Explore strategies to help children and their parents establish healthful eating habits and avoid poor ones.

Professional Opportunities:
A number of opportunities are available for students who choose a concentration in Childhood Nutrition. You can share your knowledge with your students or with the entire school by:

  • Evaluating and influencing the nutritional content of breakfast and lunch menus.
  • Evaluating and influencing the presence and/or content of vending machines.
  • Assessing and influencing policies on foods served (such as snacks) or those brought from home into classrooms.
  • Acting as a primary resource in your school by helping other teachers understand how childhood nutrition relates to brain development, childhood disease, food allergies, classroom behavior, and performance.

Course Requirements:

Required Coursework for ConcentrationCredits
SCI 330 Nutrition I: Prenatal through Age 5 4
SCI 334 Nutrition II: Age 6 through Adolescence 4
SCI 336 Community Nutrition 4
ECE 415 Methods and Materials for Teaching Nutrition 4
GRA 201 Fundamentals of Grant Managements 4

The Childhood Nutrition concentration is comprised of the three courses listed below.

SCI 330 Nutrition I: Prenatal through Age 5
(4 Credits)
This course investigates the nutritional needs of women during pregnancy, and of infants, and children through age 5. Through practical applications in the kitchen and online learning, this course presents nutritional theory in relation to mother and child growth and health, dietary needs, and physiological and biological determinants of nutrient requirements.
Format: Combined online and weekend (¾ online, ¼ classroom kitchen)
Prerequisites: EDU 215 and EDU 222

SCI 334  Nutrition II: Age 6 through Adolescence
(4 Credits)
This course explores the relationship between the nutritional needs and the growth patterns of children age 6 through adolescence. Through practical applications in the kitchen and through online learning, this course investigates the psychological, biological, social, and socio-demographic aspects of the changing nutritional needs of children.
Format: Combined online and weekend (¾ online, ¼ classroom kitchen)
Prerequisite: SCI 330

SCI 336 Community Nutrition

This course links nutritional theory to the premises underlying public health initiatives. It explores the relationship between the basic principles of human nutrition and the social, economic, and cultural aspects of nutrition theory and the impact on application of childhood nutrition theories. Through the practice of public outreach, students will learn how to become ambassadors for good nutrition.
Format: Online with field work
Prerequisite: SCI 334

ECE 415 Methods and Materials for Teaching Nutrition
(4 Credits)
Required field experience: 5 hours
This course examines current methods, materials, and programs devoted to the teaching of nutrition to children. Teacher candidates learn how to use experiential approaches to simultaneously increase students’ knowledge about nutrition and positive eating behaviors.  Schoolyard gardening is explored as means of increasing children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables.  Throughout the course, teacher candidates will examine the impact of social and media messages on children’s eating behaviors. Prerequisites: SCI 330 and SCI 334

GRA 201 Fundamentals of Grant Managements
(4 Credits)
Designed for novice grant writers, this course will provide the fundamentals into the mechanics of grant proposal writing through a series of practical exercises that will form the basis for their proposal draft. Students will develop skills in initiating research, identifying needs, discovering available funding sources and target audiences to support their grant application.