Last November 10th, 22 third grade students in the Milton School District participated in a discussion-based lesson titled “Building Your Plate With MyPlate,” a lesson adapted by FSU Food and Nutrition Intern, Ryan Gebo. The lesson aligned with the Milton School District Wellness Policy which states the district’s commitment to “providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment.”
To begin, the students’ knowledge of nutrition and the food groups was assessed. Afterwards, the students learned about MyPlate, a tool by the USDA that can guide healthy eating. Although some were familiar with MyPlate, very few students fully understood its purpose. To gain a better understanding, each student was given a picture of a food that needed to be placed on a large MyPlate poster. At the end, the class constructed a large diagram with a variety of foods separated into their proper food groups. To finish off the lesson, students, given blank MyPlate worksheets, were instructed to draw two foods in each category that they would be willing to try.
For more resources on wellness policies and ways to incorporate nutrition education at your school, visit the Lessons for Grades K-12 and School Wellness Initiatives and Policies pages in the JSI Resource Center, and The Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website.
Blog provided by Ryan Gebo, FSU Coordinated Program in Dietetics Student
“Ensure a safe learning environment based on respectful relationships.” This is one of the district beliefs that guides Hanover Public Schools, and it was evident during an allergy awareness lesson presented to students on October 6, 2014. During the after school program at Center Elementary School, first and second grade students had the opportunity to participate in an original lesson, “Let’s Be Allergy Safe!,” taught by FSU Food and Nutrition intern, Laura Keith.
The lesson began with a children’s book called The Peanut Free Café, by Gloria Koster. In the book, the students of Nutley School enjoy peanut butter in their lunches daily, until a new student arrives with a peanut allergy. The story details the generosity and cleverness of the characters as they create a fun-filled peanut-free café to accommodate the new student’s needs. This concept is familiar to students at Hanover, where peanut-free tables are designated in the cafeterias due to a number of food allergies in the district. Following the book, students discussed how to identify an allergic reaction, and how to prevent these reactions through hand washing and not sharing food. To finish the lesson, students gave a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to indicate proper and improper ways to be allergy-safe.
Hanover Public Schools’ Wellness Policy advocates for nutrition education and activities that promote student wellness. With food allergies among children skyrocketing in recent years, this lesson raised awareness on this critical issue.
For more information on school wellness and ideas for nutrition education, visit The Wellness Solution for Massachusetts and the Food Allergies and School Wellness Initiatives and Policies pages in the JSI Resource Center. If you have students with food allergies at your school, consider taking one of JSI’s online Food Allergies courses or hosting one of JSI’s Workshops to Go on Food Allergies.
Submitted by: Laura Keith, FSU Food and Nutrition Student