Dedham Public Schools believe that good nutrition and physical activity are key components to a healthy lifestyle. According to the district’s wellness policy, nutrition education is taught to instill the knowledge and skills to eat a healthy diet and reduce the risk of illness and chronic disease. To further enhance their students’ nutrition education, the Food and Nutrition Services Department has partnered with student dietetic interns from Framingham State University’s Food and Nutrition Coordinated Program.
FSU Dietetic intern, Jaime Levesque, presenting the “Fun with Food Groups” lesson at Oakdale Elementary School.
Throughout the month of April, Graduate Student Dietetic Intern, Jaime Levesque taught the importance of eating a balanced meal that incorporates foods from each of the five food groups to students in 1st through 3rd grade at the Oakdale Elementary School. During the “Fun with Food Groups” lesson, students were introduced to MyPlate and led in a discussion about the five food groups and the nutritional benefits of each. During the activity, each student was given a food model to place into the correct food group at the front of the class. During the second part of the lesson, students identified the food group components of their favorite meal which was then drawn out on a paper tray and shared with other students in the class. When the lesson ended, students were given handouts from Nourish Interactive to encourage them to incorporate a component from each food group into their meals at home and at school. Students had a great time with the food models and learning about how each food group helps to maintain a healthy body.
For additional resources and lesson plans that can be used to bring nutrition education to the classroom, visit the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition’s Resource Center.
Submitted by: Jaime Levesque, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.
Milford Public Schools welcomed student dietitian Danielle Allen to Memorial Elementary School. Danielle Allen worked with second graders to discuss how foods fuel your body and why physical activity is important. For students, learning about a healthy diet and the importance of physical activity is important to promote lifelong healthy lifestyles. They learned how to find a pulse on your neck and wrists. The students checked pulses while they were calm and sitting. Afterwards it was time to get moving! The students had fun imagining they were chasing a dog around the yard. When they finally caught the pretend dog, the students noticed how their heart was beating faster. They learned about how your heart has to work harder when you are active. Children should keep their body moving for 60 minutes every day!
Danielle Allen demonstrates taking her pulse.
Students talked about how eating the right food is important in order to stay active. Students were excited to share some favorite fruits and vegetables. By the end of the lesson, students were able to talk about why eating a healthy diet is important to keep your body moving. Students listed fruits, vegetables, and protein as some fuel sources for your body.
Danielle has helped implement the Milford Public School’s Wellness policy by teaching age appropriate content regarding healthy choices. There are many resources for lesson plans for students available at the John Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition resource center. More information regarding nutrition for children is available at the Eatright.org’s children’s section.
Submitted by Danielle Allen, FSU Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics
Dedham Public Schools are committed to promoting and protecting lifelong health and a positive learning environment for students. The district has recently adapted their Wellness Policy to focus on improving student health through nutrition and physical activity. The policy provides applicable methods to help families, teachers, and the food service department better integrate health lessons into everyday life. In order to optimize nutrition education, the school’s Food Service Department has partnered with the Framingham State University Food and Nutrition Coordinated Program.
This spring, Framingham State University’s Dietetic Graduate Student Olivia Weinstein introduced first and third graders from Oakland Elementary School to an array of fruits and vegetables. Students learned about the importance of eating the colors of the rainbow to enhance their health. Students had the opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables during the “Make a Rainbow” activity, in which students created rainbows by adding pieces of produce to a wooden skewer.
Olivia Weinstein, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student.
In addition, Weinstein taught a high school Women’s Health Class about added sugar and how to identify it on a food label. Using a mystery scenario, students investigated numerous food labels to calculate a character’s daily added-sugar consumption. Weinstein took the lesson a step further and gave the students tools to navigate campus dining in anticipation of attending college. Using materials found on MyPlate, students gained a better understanding of a healthy breakfast and how to order healthy foods at coffee shops and other food institutions. One student commented that she now feels that she “knows what to order when she is on her way to school or on her way to soccer practice.”
Interested in including nutrition education lessons at your school? The John Stalker Institute is an excellent resource for lesson plans, handouts, and other nutrition resources to help meet the initiatives of your school’s wellness policy.
Submitted by: Olivia Weinstein FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics