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Title:NEEDs for Bones
Alt. Title:Nutrition Education Engineering & Designs
Pub. date: 2011
Edition: 1st
Includes: Teacher Guide with answer sheets for activities, tear-off tablets of participant activities, food items*, additional materials needed for taste testing*, evaluation materials.
*items include in kits purchased from the publisher only.
Audience: Children
Language: English
Description:(adapted from author's description)

"The four lessons in NEEDs (Nutrition Education Engineering & Designs) for Bones are designed to educate 11-14 year olds about calcium and its impact on health. Most adolescents don’t get the calcium they need for their growth and development. Fewer than one in ten girls ages 9-13 and one in four boys ages 9-13 are consuming at or above their recommended daily amounts of calcium. In addition, nearly half of American youth ages 12-21 are not vigorously active on a regular basis. These lessons about calcium and weight-bearing activity are science-based and encourage goal-directed behavior. Adolescents can use the information taught in NEEDs for Bones to make informed choices during food selection at home and away from home.

NEEDs for Bones is four multi-disciplinary lessons to be taught in schools by Family and Consumer Science, Health, Math, and/or Science teachers. The curriculum may also be used in after-school programs, summer camps or by community agencies serving youth. NEEDs for Bones is flexible and can be used for young people from diverse backgrounds."

Funding Source: USDA, FNS, SNAP-Ed, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and The Pennsylvania State University
Developer: NEEDs Center
Organization: Penn State University College of Health and Human Development
Phone: 814-865-7628
Length: 4 lessons
Pilot Testing: Developed with middle school teacher input and piloted with middle school students to inform revisions. As of June 2012, NEEDs for Bones has been used by more than 12 classes in Central Pennsylvania. A review of NEEDs for Bones is slated for publication in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

A readability formula was not used, but hundreds of students have completed surveys and teachers report no difficulty with reading level.

Assessment instrument Used? Yes
Use Restrictions: May not copy.
Reviewers Comments: The NEEDs (Nutrition Education Engineering & Designs) for Bones 4 individual lessons plans that can be delivered in a variety of methods according to the needs and resources of the school, agency, or community group using the materials. Four lessons make up the curriculum:

  • "Enjoy Calcium-Rich Foods" provides overview of calcium needs and Calcium-rich foods.

  • "Calcium Case Studies" uses case studies and food labels to determine Calcium intake of typical middle-schoolers in several examples. Reviews non-dairy/lactose calcium sources.

  • Where's "Cal?" teaches students about calcium-rich choices that are available at convenience stores and provides the “knowledge of skilled marketers” to encourage students to make healthier convenience store choices.

  • Fast "Cal" provides students iwth information on calcium-rich choices and encourages healthier choices when eating at fast food restaurants.

Each lesson includes a complete lesson plan, facilitated discussion, learning activities, and taste testing experiences, weight bearing physical activity, wrap-up discussion, and an optional “extend-the-lesson” writing assignment for participants. All lessons are aligned with Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards which are outlined in each lesson plan.

Throughout the curriculum, nutritional focus is on calcium-rich foods and while many examples of fat-free and low-fat dairy products are used in the materials, there are several examples using higher fat and high sugar sources of calcium such as cheese, pudding, flavored milks, and ice cream. When using this curriculum, educators may wish to consider one of SNAP-Ed's Key Behavioral Outcomes for participants: “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, at least half your grains whole grains, and switch to fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products"

A comprehensive evaluation tool is included with the curriculum kit along with detailed evaluation instructions. Evaluation materials are tailored for use in Pennsylvania according to Penn State research regulations but could be modified according to the needs of the delivering agency.

This resource provides behaviorally-focused, evidence-based nutrition recommendations regarding calcium intake and weight-bearing activity to encourage healthier habits regarding eating and physical activity.

Contact the Distributor:
    Distributor: NEEDs
    Mail: 205 Chandlee Lab, Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802
    Phone: 814-865-7628
    Order URL:
    Cost: 72.02 per kit + shipping (for educators w/SNAP-Ed Funding)
    Avail. in Qty: Yes
    Bulkrate:Note: Kit is $105.39 + shipping for educators without SNAP-Ed Funding

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