Milton Public Schools (MPS) view nutrition education as an important component to student learning. As outlined in the school’s wellness policy, nutrition education is designed to foster lifelong healthy eating behaviors and to reduce incidence of obesity. One way the school incorporates nutrition education is through a partnership with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Dietetic interns design and teach a variety of nutrition classes to elementary, middle and high school students. In an effort to start all students off with a strong nutrition foundation, dietetic interns teach all MPS third grade students the MyPlate basics.
This spring, Framingham State University Dietetic Graduate Student Katie Badger, introduced third graders at Collicot and Cunningham Elementary School to MyPlate through a lesson called MyPlate – A Race to Healthy Eating. Launched with a dance party to the “Alive with Five” song, the interactive lesson plan highlighted the importance of physical activity. A PowerPoint presentation provided visuals for the students as they learned about the benefit of each food group. As students eagerly shared their favorite foods from each group, a list was generated on the blank MyPlate poster shown here. Students then demonstrated what they had learned during a team relay. Using a plate and laminated food and exercise pictures, each team raced to assemble a complete meal, including a form of exercise. This fun and interactive nutrition lesson taught students the importance of eating food from all five food groups and highlighted the importance of being active for at least 60 minutes every day.
Nutrition education lessons can take on many forms and be adapted for any age group. But there is no need to reinvent the wheel. A variety of lesson plans, handouts and other nutrition resources are available on the The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition website.
Submitted by: Katie Badger, Graduate Student in the FSU Coordinated Program in Dietetics