Category: Nutrition

HANGRY: A Healthy Eating Talking Points Activity

Have you ever needed a short activity to fill time due to a “surprise” assembly, early dismissal or one class finishing before another?  This activity can be stretched or shortened depending on your needs!  Hangry is a real concept that most of us have experienced at one time or another and because of this, it can be a very relatable topic for students to talk about and make connections to. I’ve included some activities that work well with this topic, so, pick and choose or do them all!  

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Kids in the Kitchen with Children’s Book Inspired Recipes: A Literary Feast!

It does my heart good to see young children helping out in the kitchen!  Back in the olden days, children learned to help out in the kitchen and even cook and bake at a fairly early age.  Today’s children, not so much! One thing that I have noticed about my incoming 7th graders is that their culinary skills are severely lacking!  Sadly, many students aren’t allowed in the kitchen to cook or experiment with food preparation, others simply can’t be bothered because “convenience” is easier and has become a way of life. Lastly, many may want to learn, but have no role models in their lives that can or will teach them as their parents and even grandparents just don’t cook!  This lesson combines literacy and food prep as students learn the importance and benefits of why young children should be in the kitchen, helping to prepare foods with their parents. It also shows them how creating fun recipes can be an extension of the very books the children love to read.  So, take literacy and food prep to a whole new level and show students how they can enjoy a literary feast!

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Healthy & Positive T-Shirt Messages

What I love about this assignment is that it can be adapted to almost any topic that you want students to walk away with messages promoting positive thoughts, actions, and attitudes!  I initially created this to use when teaching about healthy dating relationships and after using it thought of umpteen other lessons that I could use it with. So let me give you some background and suggestions for implementing this and then let your students have at it as they develop their own original slogans, messages and images about whatever topic you assign.  This is also a great template to use when running a design contest or for club t-shirts or fundraisers!

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Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables

Looking to incorporate the “farm to table” concept into the fruit and vegetable unit of her 9-12 Basic Foods class, Liz Odle, a teacher at North Platte High School, Nebraska did just that by creating the Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables project!  A colleague helped her iron out the details and the project was created to accommodate new standards as well as 90 minute periods.  This lesson is not only informative, but engaging, and when complete, creates a large periodic table display that is hung in the hall for all students to view!  See how she teaches this entire unit below.

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Stoplight Foods & Jenga Review Game

The stoplight is such a simple traffic device, but has a universal meaning to pedestrians and drivers in the world of transportation. You may also be familiar with this concept in the nutrition world as it was introduced a few years ago as “Go-Slow-Whoa” or “Stoplight Nutrition”. In order to reinforce healthy food choices, why not implement the universal meaning of the stoplight into an interactive Jenga game?  It’s a simple way to reinforce healthy food choices for all age groups.

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Teaching About Vegetables

After teaching this unit last year, I knew I had to update my vegetable lessons and activities, especially since we are a 1:1 school with iPads!  So, I’ve spent the better part of six months trying to figure out how to make this unit more engaging, both with and without technology! I am super pleased with the results, as are my students!  These lessons focus on students’ preexisting knowledge of vegetables, the consumption of vegetables (habits as well as reasons to consume), nutritional value and subgroups and vegetable classifications. Because knife skills are used in the lab options, be sure to cover that information prior to the lab(s)

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You Be the Dietician–Breakfast Foods

Do you teach an Advanced Foods and Nutrition class?  Looking for a rigorous assignment for students who have a strong understanding of the nutrients? You are in luck as Nikki Heflin, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher of Indiana shares this breakfast lesson, several lab ideas and concluding assessment, placing students in the role of the dietician.  Check out her lesson below!

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Exploring Pasta

Pasta is one of my all time favorite units to teach in my Foods unit! Pasta is so easy, versatile, and economical that I feel every student should know how to prepare before they leave high school! I always tell my students that they will never go hungry if they know how to cook pasta. Use the provided slide to navigate through a variety of resources to learn more about pasta as your students complete this assignment and work their way into the lab.

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SKITCH: Food Label Information–Mandatory or Voluntary?

One of the first apps we were introduced to when our school went 1:1 was SKITCH. I liked the labeling abilities of this app directly on images and thought it would be a great addition to my junior high lessons. So, I developed this activity around mandatory and voluntary label information that allows students to practice applying the information from their notes directly onto a photo label, showing me they understand the concept. This activity also allowed me to go more paperless as this lesson only uses a half-sheet of paper per student. So, if you’ve never tried this app, here’s an opportunity for you to do so!

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Real Food Grows

Patricia Papazoglou of Beloit, Wisconsin shared this impressive website, Real Food Grows!  The website is an 8 week course covering nutrition and basic cooking skills for healthy living.  I took some time to really explore this website and it’s chock-full of relevant information to teach topics such as sports nutrition, food borne illness, nutrients, grains, proteins, sustainability and culminates with a cookbook project.  There is even a sequence guide provided if you’re not sure how to order the unit of plans.

The website is set up in an organized, easy to use, tab friendly format with links embedded throughout.  This would be an excellent resource for a beginning teacher, as well as a veteran teacher who needs to update their curriculum and interject some fresh ideas!  So, what are you waiting for?  Check it out and see what it has to offer!

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