Dedham Public Schools believes that nutrition education should be a part of the core curriculum. According to the district’s wellness policy, the goal of nutrition education is to give students knowledge and the tools they will need to select foods that promote a healthy lifestyle. To support this goal, Framingham State University (FSU) interns from the Coordinated Program in Dietetics taught fourth graders at Oakdale Elementary School about the importance of eating healthy snacks.
To introduce the topic, students were asked to think about their favorite athlete, and to think about what he/she eats in order to get ready for practice or a game. Students then described which foods support health and performance and which foods do not. All content was connected back to the students needing healthy foods to help them be successful in the classroom and on the playground. A discussion of MyPlate and the five food groups built the basis for understanding how to build a healthy snack.
For an activity, students created their own healthy snacks using at least two components of MyPlate. Students enthusiastically created original snacks by drawing and naming them. Then students described the ingredients, explained how to make their snack, and came up with a marketing pitch or slogan to get consumers to want to buy their snacks. To conclude the lesson, students eagerly shared their creations with the rest of the class!
For more resources on school wellness policies and ideas for lessons and educational materials for a variety nutrition-related health topics, visit the John C. Stalker (JSI) Resource Center and the Wellness Solution for MA websites.
Submitted by: Erin Anseth, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.