March 8, 2013
Nutrition Month® is a great time to talk with your students about eating well. Here are some ideas to help you bring Nutrition Month into your classroom.
Show Students that All Food Fits: Most people are able to eat a balanced diet by eating foods they enjoy. Ask students to think up a day's menu in which they eat a balanced diet by eating only foods they like. Reinforce learning at home by sending a Menu Planner home for students to fill out with their families.
Visit a Grocery Store: Take a tour of your nearest grocery store. Students can learn how to find different foods in the aisles, identify how ripe different fruits and vegetables are and even discover new foods they might never have seen before. A grocery store visit is a great opportunity to remind students that eating healthy is about eating good food instead of focusing too much on labels and specific nutrients. Talk to your students about different kinds of foods and help them locate their favourites from each of the four food groups. Some grocery stores now have an on-site dietitian who will provide your class with a guided tour.
Assign Something Delicious: Promote active food experiences for your students by assigning a family cooking activity. Ask students to make a meal or snack at home with a parent, sibling or other family member and document it in a creative way. Students can draw a picture of what they made, take photos of the process and the final product, show video clips or write a reflection. Ask students to bring their masterpieces with them for lunch one day, if possible.
Give Students Some Options: Help your students think of some healthy go-to snacks they can eat the next time they're hungry. You can do this by brainstorming ideas as a class or, if possible, bringing in a variety of healthy snacks for students to try. Help them think of healthy snacks they already know and like and make connections by discussing how these foods can replace less nutritious foods to satisfy the same craving. For example, a craving for a salty snack could be satisfied by swapping out chips for cheese and crackers. Similarly, for a sweet craving, you could swap out candy for fruit leather. Share students' snack ideas with families to build support for these food choices at home.