Second grade students at Hillside Elementary School in Needham participated in a nutrition lesson focusing on MyPlate and the five food groups presented on April 7, 2014 by graduate FSU Food and Nutrition intern, Jane MacKeen. The lesson “Smart Snacking with MyPlate” was developed to create healthy snacks for kids using 2-3 different foods from the five food groups. The goal: to build a solid nutrition foundation for this young age group as a way to create long-term, healthy habits.
The lesson began with discussing the MyPlate poster, including how each quadrant of the plate represented fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy and the foods found in each group. For example, an apple is a fruit and milk is dairy. The students then went to their desks to create their own healthy snack using a MyPlate worksheet. Their challenge: create a snack using 2-3 different foods from the five food groups. The results: great ideas including pretzels (grain) and apple slices (fruit) dipped in peanut butter (protein), and a cheese stick (protein) with whole grain crackers (grain) and grapes (fruit). The students loved talking about their ideas. Their teacher then had them all sing, “Oh bananas are my favorite fruit” as a thank you; it was fantastic.
Needham Public Schools’ Wellness Policy states “nutrition concepts are integrated into the curriculum and also offered via nutrition promotion as part of the school lunch program.” Professional development and training are offered to staff, as well as collaborating with families and the community to foster children’s nutrition, healthy lifestyles and lifelong physical activity.
For more resources on wellness policies and ways to incorporate nutrition education at your school, visit the School Wellness Initiative and Policies page at the JSI Resource Center and the Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website.
~ blog provided by Jane MacKeen, FSU Food and Nutrition Graduate Student