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.
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.