Monthly Archives: February 2014

Musical Food Groups: A fun approach to nutrition education

Last November 25, 2013, thirteen kindergarten students at Cedar Elementary School in Hanover received a lesson on MyPlate and the five food groups taught by FSU Food and Nutrition intern, Kaitlin Barragan. This lesson, “We Need All Five,” adapted from Fuel Up To Play 60 is intended to improve children’s lifelong eating habits by developing a foundation of nutritional knowledge.

During this lesson, students were first shown pictures of different types of foods and asked to guess the food group that each picture represented. They then followed up this activity with the game “Musical Food Groups,” a non-competitive version of the classic game “Musical Chairs.” This game allowed students to become more familiar with the five food groups while dancing around the room to music. Finally, everyone was asked to color different shapes using only some of their fingers. The class was able to see that just like coloring is hard without all five fingers, staying healthy is hard without including all five food groups.

Cedar Elementary School - HanoverThe Hanover Public Schools’ Wellness Policy encourages “healthy lifestyles and appropriate nutritional practices for all students.” Providing nutrition education for children during their early years of schooling can help establish healthy habits that may prevent childhood obesity and keep them healthier all throughout their lives [1].

For more resources on Wellness Policies and ways to incorporate nutrition education at your school, visit the JSI Resource Center and the Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website.

~ blog provided by Kaitlin Barragan, FSU Food and Nutrition Student

Hanover Middle School Students Rethink Their Drink

Last November 18, 2013, fifteen Hanover Middle School students participated in a nutrition education class called Rethink Your Drink, taught by FSU Food and Nutrition intern, Amy Leadbetter. The students had fun learning about the added sugar content of popular beverages, such as soda and sweetened coffee drinks. Students learned that changing the grams of sugar to teaspoons makes it easy to see how much sugar they were really drinking. Students used the Nutrition Facts Panel to find the sugar content in grams and then calculated the number of teaspoons by dividing by 4. For example, a 20 ounce bottle of soda contains 69 grams of sugar, so when divided by 4 this reveals 17 teaspoons of sugar!

To really see the amount of sugar, the students then split up into groups and measured out the teaspoons of sugar for different beverages. This fun activity was simple, but very effective!

Hanover Middle School Success Story

After sharing the surprising results with each other they learned about different names for added sugars using the Find the Sugar Word Search. By the end of the lesson, each student became a savvy label reader and were open to replacing their daily soda with a glass of milk or water. Mission accomplished!

Hanover Public Schools’ Wellness Policy states that “good health depends upon continuous lifelong attention to scientific advances and the acquisition of new knowledge”. The committee also notes that activities that promote student wellness are important for helping students make healthy decisions.

For more resources on Wellness Policies and ways to incorporate nutrition education at your school, visit the JSI Resource Center and the Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website.

~ blog provided by Amy Leadbetter, FSU Food and Nutrition Student