Do you know what a whole grain is? What is the difference between whole grains and refined grains? How would you determine if a product is made with whole grains or refined grains?
These are some of the questions that the students at Dedham Middle School learned how to answer on September 29, 2014. Framingham State University’s Food and Nutrition intern Kimberly Edick developed and taught a lesson called “Whole Grains: The Whole Scoop!” to 150 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students.
The Dedham Public School District recently made a change to serve grain products that are made with at least 51% whole grains, to meet the current nutrition standards for the National School Meal Program. To enable students to understand why they should eat whole grains and encourage them to consume more whole grain products, Dedham has focused on whole grain education to boost participation in their school meals program.
After learning the amazing qualities and benefits of whole grains, students used real food packages to determine whether the product was made with whole grains or refined grains. Hands-on learning about whole grains supports Dedham’s Wellness Policy goal of promoting healthy eating patterns by incorporating whole grains into their everyday food choices.
More resources on whole grains, wellness policies, and ways to incorporate nutrition education into the school environment can be found in The Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website and the Whole Grains and School Wellness Initiatives and Policies pages in the JSI Resource Center.
Submitted by: Kimberly Edick, FSU Food and Nutrition Student