The Backbone of Your Healthy Meal Plan
For the vast majority of adults, these practical tips should be the backbone of your meal plan:
- A range of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain carbohydrates (brown rice, brown bread, millet, bulgar wheat, etc)
- Fermented food such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut
- Unsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, and nuts
- Two portions of oily fish such as salmon per week (or nuts and seeds if you don’t eat fish)
- A handful of nuts and seeds a day
- Aim for 30g of fiber a day
- Eat a range of beans and pulses (such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils)
- Drink approximately 8 glasses of water a day
Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, and Phonological Awareness
Before learning how to teach your kids to read, let me first discuss some quick terminology. Have you heard to terms phonics, phonemic awareness, and/or phonological awareness? Likely, you have not unless you’re an elementary school teacher like me. These terms are often difficult to decipher from one another yet are critical for your success at teaching reading at home.
Let’s start with tackling each of these terms individually.
- Phonics is simply understanding that each letter has a corresponding sound. For example, you definitely know that “tee” sounds like the letter “T”, right? Yup, right. That’s phonics.
- Phonemic awareness takes the understanding of phonics and ups the ante a bit. It explains how we can discern that the /c/ at the beginning of the word “cat” is different from the /at/ that follows that sound. (Fun fact! There are 43 individual phonemes in the English language. But fear not, you won’t be quizzing your kiddo).
- Phonological awareness is similar to phonemic awareness but is, again, a bit loftier. In the previous example, we highlighted the understanding of /c/ in “cat” sounding like a “K”, right? Well, phonological awareness is one’s ability to manipulate the various sound units in a word. So, placing the sound /ack/ with /p/ as the beginning makes a different word sound than if you put /b/ before /ack/.