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About the Food and Nutrition Information Center

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Title:Nutrition Essentials: Teaching Tools for Healthy Choices. Nutrition Education Ideas for Secondary School Teachers
Pub. date: April 2007
Includes: 6 complete lessons, 2 CDs, PowerPoint slide show, reproducible worksheets, factsheets, hand-outs, a set of nutrition fact cards and 10 color posters (5 full-size and 5 mini).
Audience: Nutrition Educators, Parents, Children
Language: English
Description:This colorful guide provides six easy-to-follow lessons plans for teachers of secondary school students. Topics for the six lessons include: Get the MyPyramid Amounts of Foods – for YOU; Choose the Foods YOU Need; Choose Foods for Their Nutrients; Estimate Amounts of Food; Put It All Together – Food for a Day; and Move It! Keep your Health in Balance. Nutrition Essentials also contains 5 full-size and 5 mini color posters to reinforce the lessons: MyPyramid, READ IT Before you EAT IT!, How Much Do YOU Eat?, Food for a Day, and Move It! Choose Your Fun!. Two CDs are included: 1) Nutrition Essentials: Teaching Tools for Healthy Choices and 2) Nutrition Decision, interactive games with nutrition information.

The Nutrition Essentials CD contains a PDF version of the guide, supplemental materials such as a PowerPoint slide-show overview of the lessons, teaching tips and tricks (suggestions for using positive messages and inexpensive visual aids), reproducible materials, objectives and National Education Standards. The Nutrition Decision CD provides interactive games to allow students to practice building skills using the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels.

Developer: United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Team Nutrition
Length: 42 pages
Readability: 7th grade
Assessment Method: Not available
Assessment instrument Used? No
Use Restrictions: May copy for educational purposes.
Reviewers Comments: Nutrition Essentials provides a comprehensive and detailed guide for teachers to encourage healthy food and activity choices in middle and high school students. In addition to the printed copy, the materials are also provided on the accompanying CDs. This may be valuable for educators working in a variety of settings because it reduces the need to store or transport a huge binder of materials! Each lesson can stand-alone or can be used as part of the complete series. Although the target audience is students, lessons may be adapted for use with adult learners.

Each lesson is based on a poster or other visual image and includes an overview, learner objectives, interactive questions, visuals, lesson content formatted in “Ask and Point Out sections”, summary, and enrichment materials. The lessons are comprehensive and sequential, with clearly stated learning objectives, a list of materials needed for the lesson, steps for preparation, and instructions. Lessons do not require extensive preparation and should take less than one hour to implement. The handouts and enrichment materials provide support for the lessons. Availability of the handouts and enrichment materials on the CD and in printed form decreases program cost by reducing the need to search for or develop appropriate and accurate written support materials. However, some of the hand-outs are not black and white copy ready which may pose a problem for educators who do not have access to a color printer or who have limited funds for educational materials. Worksheets, homework, test questions and answers can be used as additional activities in the classroom; to reinforce the lessons or as pre-post tests to evaluate change in knowledge.

Reproducibles included consist of worksheets, food charts for students and parents (to identify the amounts of foods needed from the MyPyramid food groups), handouts, vocabulary and definition, homework, text questions and answers, sources of nutrition information, enrichment materials, a set of nutrition facts cards (one blank card and cards for 47 different foods) and parent fact sheets. Fact sheets such as What Teens Eat, What They Need; and Personal Power Tips for Adults are geared toward parents/caregivers and offer suggestions for adults to reinforce healthful food and activity choices and goal setting. The factsheets may be provided to the parents/caregivers for reinforcement of lessons at home. The factsheets and the PowerPoint slide show also provide a basic explanation of key nutrition concepts and can be used as teaching tools for the lesson and background information for educators.

Interactive games and nutrition information are available on the Nutrition Decisions CD and also online at The online-version of Nutrition Decision includes two games not included on the CD: Measurement Matchup where students flip over cards containing pictures of foods with serving sizes and find the match; and Poster-rama which allows students to design a customized poster using clipart, slogans, and text based on the key message “Move More”. The online games are more appropriate for the target audience whereas the CD games may be more appropriate to use with a younger audience.

View/download files: 
Supplemental curriculum, materials, and reproducibles (html):
Contact the Distributor:
    Distributor: Team Nutrition, U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Mail: 3101 Park Center Drive Room #632
Alexandria, VA 22302
    Phone: (703) 305-1624
    Fax: (703) 305-2549
    Avail. in Qty: No
    Bulkrate:Item not available to be orderd, PDFs available for download

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