|Reviewers Comments: ||Food $ense Basics is a series of lessons designed to provide adult audiences with a basic introduction to general nutrition, food safety, and menu planning. The nutrition lessons are all generally based on MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and include a lesson specifically about MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines, as well as separate lessons covering the fruits/vegetables group, grains group, protein foods group, and dairy group. Lessons on infant and child nutrition, menu planning and shopping, and food safety are also included, as is a gardening resource guide.
Each lesson has the same basic structure and components. Lessons first provide educators with information on objectives, required materials, optional supplemental materials, preparation required, teaching tips and ideas, and suggested lesson times. They then contain detailed instructions for teaching and are all ordered similarly: they start with an introduction, move on to cover each of the objectives separately, and end with a conclusion. Each lesson comes with a variety of simple recipes. Educators can choose to make one or multiple recipes with participants. Handouts for participants contain useful information as well as all recipes. Nutrition Facts labels are not available with recipes.
Educators should note that the MyPlate Web site URL referenced in these lessons is incorrect (it is referred to as www.myplate.gov); the correct Web site URL is www.choosemyplate.gov. Similarly, lessons refer to the MyPlate Food Tracker, which has been replaced by the SuperTracker. Educators may want to pay special attention to the MyPlate lesson, which includes an audience question related to oils on page 6 that may be misleading and is not included in the MyPlate Web site. Educators should review the MyPlate oils page, and may also consider reviewing the concepts of nutrient and energy density, before teaching this section. The Food Safety lesson and handout includes safe cooking temperature guidelines, which incorrectly state that pork (except for ground pork) should be cooked to 165°F. Based on the most recent guidelines from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F. Note that the cooking temperatures for ground pork (160°F) are correct in the lessons. Educators will likely want to inform participants of the updated guidelines.
The Food $ense Basics lesson series can be effective nutrition education tools for teaching the basics of nutrition, food safety, and meal planning. Because lesson activites are separated by objective, educators can choose to teach select parts of these lessons, or incorporate components into their own lessons. Educators could also combine these lessons with other Food $ense lessons series: