Next month is National Nutrition Month and to celebrate with your class we’ve provided some fun hands-on activity ideas.
Develop a school project that involves kids creating a meal based on MyPlate principles. Students should make a balanced breakfast, lunch, or dinner including some of their favorite foods using pictures, drawings, or actual foods. Visit choosemyplate.gov for more information about each food group and balanced meals.
Hold an election in which students vote for their favorite fruits and vegetables. Offer a selection of fruits and vegetables cut into bite-size pieces for students to try and then record students’ votes. Post a tally board to show the results and work in some math concepts with analysis.
Ask students to save empty food product labels and boxes and bring them to class. Spend some time reading labels as a whole group or small groups comparing information on the Nutrition Facts panels. Expand the activity into a menu-planning opportunity, individually or in teams, using MyPlate as the guide to a healthy meal.
Start a school vegetable garden by planting seeds indoors that will be transferred to the garden later in the season. Students will love to watch the seeds sprout from the containers and thrive on the responsibility of caring for the seeds.
Assign a project that involves small groups researching one of the food groups. Allow each student in the group to describe one food that is part of their assigned food group and explain what nutrition it provides.
Organize a sports nutrition education session after school or during gym class. Talk about the optimal nutrition athletes need and what kinds of foods and drinks they can consume to reach their best performances.
Help students create a newsletter to send to parents and guardians about the importance of nutrition and a well-balanced meal. Have students include pictures, graphs, and maybe a recipe or two for families to try at home.
Decorate the cafeteria with National Nutrition Month posters or banners, table tents, and balloons. Create a “take one” display with NNM brochures, bookmarks, Eat Right Nutrition Tips, and recipe handouts.
Gather some drinks including juices, sports drinks, milk, and water. Have students read the labels identifying the amount of sugar in each drink and then measure that amount placing it on a plate or piece of paper. Students should compare the amounts and decide which are the most nutritious drinks.
Give students time to research the Protein food group and the amount of protein people from different age groups need daily. Then have them look for nutrition information about some of the plant-based meat products that are gaining popularity. Help students determine which food group these types of products best fall into.