Billerica Public School district sets a high bar when it comes to nutrition. As stated in their wellness policy, Billerica strives to “promote healthy behaviors and decision-making, and to encourage lifelong patterns of balanced nutrition.” In an effort to achieve this goal, the district works closely with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics and welcomes dietetic interns into the classroom to teach students nutrition focused lessons.
This spring, graduate student Caitlin Sullivan taught third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders at the Vining Elementary School about the nutrition food label. Students enjoyed learning how to use the food label to make informed choices for healthy eating.
During the “Getting Familiar with Food Labels” lesson, students used a variety of food packages to locate information on the food label to fill in the activity sheet shown here. The ingredients section of the food label was used to identify food allergens in the food. The students had a great time acting as detectives to locate information such as serving size, calories per serving, grams of sugar, fiber, and protein. Everyone asked for additional worksheets and food labels to test their knowledge.
Students can use the information to make healthy food decisions which will encourage balanced and nutritious eating patterns for years to come. To get more information on how to incorporate nutrition education lessons into your classroom, and how to improve the wellness policy in your district go to the The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition website.
Submitted by: Caitlin Sullivan, Graduate Student in the FSU Coordinated Program in Dietetics