|Reviewers Comments: ||Show Me Nutrition is a comprehensive nutrition curriculum that teaches youths from preschool through junior high how to have a healthy lifestyle. This set has been specifically designed for fifth graders. At this age, children are beginning to shop and prepare foods for themselves and their families. To help them with these new grown-up tasks, this curriculum incorporates skill building activities that teach children how to purchase, store and prepare foods safely. They recognize how to use food labels and are encouraged to eat a variety of foods from each group. The importance of physical activity, body acceptance and food choices are also addressed. Basic lessons about food safety help children understand how to practice good personal hygiene, sanitation and safe food handling.
There are 11 lessons total, meeting eight of National Health Education Standard, and all based on the current USDA food graphic and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Several of the lessons incorporate the theme messages as their title, such as “Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains”, “Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables ”, “Switch to Fat Free or Low-Fat (1percent) Milk” and “Vary Your Protein Choices”. In addition, children are taught to understand media influences on their food choices, which is important because at this age where they are being heavily targeted by corporate advertising campaigns. Each lesson is complete with objectives, a supply list, and advance preparations required. Also included are creative core activities, hand outs and imaginative games and additional activities that complement each of the lessons. Some of these include “MyPlate Bingo”, “Be a Good Egg”, and “The Mystery of the Processed Potato”. Some activities may be slightly advanced for a fifth grade group, however the basic themes of the lesson are simple and allow the lesson to be tailored accordingly. Activities also incorporate other core areas, including social studies (grains around the world), language arts (writing haikus), and math (counting calorie and fat activities). There is also an extensive teacher reference section for each lesson which will help for those teachers who not familiar with nutrition, which contains information such as a “Food Label Glossary”, “Fascinating Facts about Veggies”, and “Why We Eat: Internal and External Influences”. Each lesson is 45 minutes to 1 hour long, but can be made longer or shorter based on the number of activities used. Questions and answers for assessment are also included. In addition, lessons include family newsletters that can be copied and sent home to help families make healthy choices.
Overall, this curriculum is innovative and clear-cut. It can be an excellent resource, whether you are teaching a structured nutrition series to a fifth grade class or just looking for some new and inspired nutrition games and activities. It may also be used as part of a series with other Show Me Nutrition curriculums.