|Reviewers Comments: ||This resource can be an excellent tool for educators working with children and teenagers on nutrition and physical activity topics. The first section of the manual provides a basic background of knowledge for educators on topics including MyPyramid, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. For educators who already have a background in nutrition, this information may be a quick and concise review.
Advantageous for all educators and youth counselors, the book demonstrates how to incorporate nutrition and physical activity in existing projects, programs, special events, sporting events, meetings and field trips. It also provides suggestions for incorporating nutrition and physical activity messages into various topics that may be a part of youth development programs. Later on, it explains how to help youth become health advocates for others by choosing, planning, publicizing and evaluating their own health promotion project.
Ideas are provided for offering healthful meals and snacks when working with youth. The “Sample Healthful and Affordable Snacks” chart may be very useful for SNAP-Ed providers. The appendix contains information/handouts for parents about healthy cooking and grocery shopping and has several sample recipes with nutrition information. Some teenagers, depending on size and activity level may need to follow a higher food pattern plan than the recommendations provided, which are based on a 2,000 calorie food pattern plan. For less active teenagers and adolescents, educators may want to use some of the suggestions from the section on how to promote physical activity, which includes a chart of games for small spaces and a list of activities to increase strength and flexibility, with visuals.
One valuable chapter of the manual is devoted to stand-alone activities. The activities, all designed for youth greater than 11 years of age, cover a variety of topics and include assessments, discussions, and hands-on activities. Handouts, including fact sheets, activities, worksheets, and logs included throughout help enhance the manual and can be easily duplicated. A resource section includes recommended nutrition and physical activity contacts, web sites, and vendors.
Although this guidebook is only available in print to middle and high schools and teachers, full text is available online in PDF format and copies may be borrowed from the National Agricultural Library.