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Modeling Good Eating
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans (PDF) recommends that we eat more fruits and vegetables, choosing at least a cup of fruit a day and a variety of vegetables—dark, green, and leafy vegetables; orange vegetables; beans; and peas.
To help students become healthy eating role models by identifying, classifying, and choosing a more healthful diet.
Print out the pictures in Smart Choices (PDF). Prepare a bulletin board chart with the days of the week down the side and the food group pictures (fruits, vegetables, calcium, grains, meat) across the top (see below). Then, set the "Healthy Snacks" picture aside.
Play the Healthy Snacks song for the class. Have the students listen carefully for the names of foods in the lyrics. As they name each one, point to the appropriate item in the "Healthy Snacks" picture: apple, crackers and cheese, banana, celery, popcorn, soup, orange, granola, peanut butter, oatmeal, milk, and juice.
Determine where each snack fits in the Smart Choice Food Groups. For example, "popcorn" fits under "Make Your Grains Whole" and "banana" fits under "Focus on Fruits." Have students discuss where "soup" might fit: "Vary Your Veggies" for vegetable soup or "Eat Meat, Fish, Nuts, and Beans" for chicken noodle.
Once you have classified all of the snacks, have students discuss where some of the things they have eaten today fit within the food groups.
Each day, have students talk about what they have eaten and where each item fits on the bulletin board. By placing checkmarks in the correct column for each child or writing down the names of foods, you soon will be able to help students analyze their classroom chart:
Optional Procedure: Share this bulletin board and the children's analysis at a teacher-parent meeting and distribute information to parents from the Resources section below.
Teaching Note: If you laminate copies of the "Smart Choices" pictures, students can use them in small groups for matching or classification games.
Please note—to view documents in PDF format, you must have Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader software. If you do not already have this software installed on your computer, please download it from Adobe's Web site.
Updated on 3/21/2012