What better way to help promote a new breakfast program than to combine a fun nutrition education lesson on the subject with a coupon for a free school breakfast?
Last October 2014, one hundred fifty Dedham Middle School students participated in a nutrition education class called “ABC’s to a Healthy Breakfast,” taught by FSU Food and Nutrition intern, Tara Robinson. The Dedham High School breakfast program has a high success rate, so the district decided to implement the program at their middle school this school year. Any new program needs innovative ways to spread the word and increase the level of participation. This nutrition lesson was a great way to do just that. It teaches students the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, and provides them with examples of balanced breakfasts that are offered through the school.
During the lesson, students learned that eating a healthy breakfast has many benefits such as an increase in focus, grades, attendance, and energy. Then, the students had fun learning what components make up a balanced breakfast by playing a dice game. Several volunteers rolled three colored dice. Each die represented a different food group such as protein, whole grain, and fruit. There were six healthy food examples in each food group with a corresponding number 1-6. As the students rolled each die, their results were written on a board giving them all examples of a healthy, balanced breakfast. By the end of the lesson, the students were able to not only build a healthy breakfast, but to discuss how they can swap foods in each food group to create a delicious meal appealing to their individual tastes and preferences.
Dedham Public School’s Wellness Policy promotes nutrition education through marketing initiatives and actively offering healthy foods on the lunch line.
If your school is interested in implementing a school breakfast program or looking for ways to incorporate nutrition education, visit the School Breakfast and K-12 lessons pages in the JSI Resource Center and The Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website.
~ blog provided by Tara Robinson, FSU Food and Nutrition Student