|Reviewers Comments: || Nutrition Nuggets is a set of mini nutrition lessons designed to be implemented in afterschool programs. Although the lessons are designed for school-age children, they can be formatted to appeal to a variety of different audience ages and personalities. Updated lessons are based on information from MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Topics include the food groups, breakfast, handwashing, sugar, combination foods and healthy parties.
Each lesson includes a list of objectives, teaching materials, and food supplies. The lessons are written in a script format, meaning that the educator is provided with a list of what to say and do during the lesson. The script can (and should) be altered based on the participants’ responses and behaviors. While this approach may make teaching the class easier for an inexperienced educator, educators should still prepare by reading the lesson and background material before teaching the class.
Each lesson except the final one consists of two basic activities. The first activity introduces the lesson’s theme and the second activity reviews the key messages of the lesson. The author recommends lessons be taught in the order they are presented. An estimated lesson length is not provided, but if there is a shortage of time, it is possible to complete the first activity and not the second. Another option is to teach the 23 smaller lessons, dividing each of the first 11 lessons in half and basing each lesson around one activity rather than two. This may be beneficial for younger children or those with shorter attention spans.
Every lesson includes a short food preparation and tasting. Children should be encouraged but not forced to try the foods provided. Educators may benefit from establishing taste testing rules during the first class which can be reviewed in subsequent sessions. Educators may also benefit from asking about food allergies during the first class, as some of the tastings include common food allergens, such peanut butter, milk and wheat. If possible, food recipes and tastings could be altered beforehand based on food allergies so that all children can participant. Food supplies listed are based on approximately 20 participants.
Lesson plans are interactive and include numerous questions and discussions. Educators can further encourage participation by reinforcing key topics with questions during activities and tasting. The graphic designer was done very well, as evidenced in the easy to read layout and organization of the curriculum. The curriculum includes “Food Picture Cards”, which feature beautiful black and white photographs of various foods. Several of the lessons include handouts, which are also attractively designed.