At Needham Public Schools, “Nutrition concepts are integrated into the curriculum and also offered via nutrition promotion as part of the school lunch program” according to the district’s wellness policy.
In spring 2016, third grade students at Mitchell Elementary School learned about the five food groups and how to make a balanced meal with graduate FSU Food and Nutrition interns, Annabelle Ho and Alyssa Smith.
Each lesson began with a discussion of MyPlate, which illustrates a balanced meal with the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.
To increase students’ vocabulary and knowledge of foods that belong in the food groups, students played the Who Am I? game, adapted from USDA’s Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum. In the game, cards with foods and beverages from the five food groups were hung around participants’ necks so that they could not see the cards. Students asked their classmates yes or no questions to gather clues to figure out which food or beverage item they were.
After students determined their assigned food or beverage item and which food group they belonged to, students got into groups to create a balanced meal following MyPlate. Students then shared the items of their meal and which food group each beverage or food item was in with the rest of the class!
Submitted by: Annabelle Ho, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student