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One of my favorite lesson plans for health and nutrition is to teach about food and nutrition guidelines. I teach from experience as a teacher, but also as a Dietitian.
In this fun nutrition lesson plan, students will learn about the food groups on their plate and use an interactive bulletin board at center time. In this series, the teacher can learn more about "MyPlate", the name of the new food guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture. These guidelines have recently been updated from the food pyramid to simply and make the food groups easier to visualize on your own dinner plate! It's worth going over this in class to help students learn healthy eating habits for life. I recommend to start these lessons with the first article in this series.
After teaching about My Plate during center time, the students add pictures of the foods into the correct food group. If you do not have access to a bulletin board within child-reach, then it could displayed on an easel or a fold-up display.
- A large picture of MyPlate
- Pictures of food from each food group in the food guide pyramid
- Bulletin board paper, white or light blue (for the background color)
- Colored paper to make the food groups: orange, green, red, blue, purple and yellow.
- File folder
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To create the interactive bulletin board...
- Enlarge a copy of My Plate on a poster maker or copy machine. It can also be enlarged on an overhead projector. You can find printable versions of My Plate here: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/print-materials-ordering.html
- Cover the bulletin board.
- Cut out the shape of the plate and trace the food group locations.
- Cover the food group ssection with the appropriate color of the food group as outlined above.
- Laminate the plate for several years of use.
- Laminate pictures of food. They can be taken from magazines, printed from clip art or taken directly from the USDA site. Try printing out photos of food from the Go Fish nutrition game. Although the beginning part is still the old version of the pyramid, the images of food can still be printed out and used for this activity.
- Place Velcro on the back of the laminated pictures of food.
- Place Velcro onto the plate in the food sections.
- Provide an answer key: a mini MyPlate laminated and inside a file folder stapled to the bottom right-hand side of the bulletin board for self-correcting.