The Webster Public School District is dedicated to promoting the overall health and well-being of their K-12 students, particularly by supporting the development and maintenance of healthy eating and exercise habits. To further teach, encourage, and foster balanced nutrition and physical activity among students, Webster Public Schools have teamed up with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Through this partnership, student dietitians develop and implement nutrition education lessons based on the interests and needs of Webster Public School students.
During the months of March and April 2018, Graduate Student Dietitian Tori Leger presented “Serving Up MyPlate” to fourth grade students at Park Avenue Elementary School. Students learned about the five main food groups, contents of each food group, and the importance of combining foods from all five food groups to create healthy, balanced meals that contain a variety of nutrients.
Students were provided with paper plates and colored pencils, and were encouraged to draw their own MyPlate. During this interactive coloring activity, students brainstormed foods that could fit into the five food groups and discussed how a complete meal could be created from these food items. In addition, the composition of school lunch was discussed in terms of the MyPlate model to expand understanding of current dietary recommendations. Students were encouraged to try and incorporate at least three of the five food groups into each meal to get a variety of beneficial nutrients every day. By the end of the lesson, the students were excited to take their drawings home and begin practicing the MyPlate method!
To learn more about incorporating nutrition education into the classroom for K-12 students, visit The John Stalker Institute Resource Center.
Submitted by: Tori Leger, Graduate Student Dietitian, Framingham State University Coordinated Program in Dietetics