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The business of child nutrition can be difficult, but is manageable. With the proper training and technical assistance, a difficult task can be a snap. Area consultants from the State Department of Education can assist nutrition personnel in running a more efficient and effective child nutrition program by providing free technical assistance and training.
Public schools and child care establishments participating in child nutrition programs are assigned a consultant who specializes in helping nutrition personnel understand federal regulations.
A nutrition class is available for Early Childhood through 2nd grade. It is called Go, Glow, and Grow. Foods are discussed according to the benefits they provide for students-foods that make them go and give them energy, foods that make their skin, hair, and eyes glow and provide vitamins and minerals, and foods that make them grow and repair cells in their bodies. Concepts of shapes, size, more and less, and discerning plant and animal sources are utilized to teach good nutrition. Present the story with actions. Hands-on activities reinforce learning, and music and movement add to the fun. The final activity is making a trail mix out of go, glow and grow foods. To schedule a class, please call (add your name) in Child Nutrition at (add your phone number). The class takes approximately 45 minutes.
The Go, Grow and Glow book and the Food Guide Pyramid Poster is available through USDA Team Nutrition Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow song is available through Ag in the Classroom click on Teacher Resources-Lesson plans and scroll down to Grades PreK-1 and click on Oats, Peas…song.
Introduce yourself. Talk about the shape of the pyramid. Discuss how we need to eat more foods from the bottom of the pyramid and less of the foods as we go up the pyramid. Explain that the lower levels of the pyramid are plant foods and the upper level (meats and milks) are from animals. . Explain why we need to eat a variety of foods from the pyramid because they will either make us go, glow, or grow. Discuss how the pyramid can be divided into 3 layers-grains as “go” foods, fruits and vegetables as “glow” foods, and meats and milks as “grow” foods. List some foods from each “layer” of the pyramid. Also, discuss how the tip of the pyramid is the smallest part and that these foods should be the smallest part of our diet.
Demonstrate to the students how to do the actions for go, glow, and grow. Ask them to do these actions when they hear these words in the story you will be reading to them.
Read the story “GO, GLOW, and GROW! Encourage group interaction by asking them what their favorite foods are in each group, if they eat breakfast, what type of exercise or movement they like to do, if the vegetable is grown under the ground or on top, etc.
Place pyramid shape on floor. Hand out food models/pictures to each student. Have them tell what their food is, whether it is a go, glow, or grow food (have all the students do the correct action), whether it is plant or animal, and where it goes on the pyramid. Have them place it on the pyramid.
Read and demonstrate the words to the song “Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow”. Play the music and have the students move in a circle around the “farmer” who will be doing the actions. Have the farmer choose a partner in the 3 rd stanza. Do this activity as many times as you desire.
Set up the trail mix selections before class. Pass out zip-lock bags to each student and have them go through the trail mix line, explaining which group the trial mix components are-go, glow, or grow.
Lisa Griffin with Tulsa Public Schools provides this lesson plan.
The Child Nutrition Programs is making the Power of Choice nutrition education resource available free to teachers. The Power of Choice, originally created for leaders of after-school programs, is an interactive curriculum that is designed to help young adolescents understand how their decisions about eating and physical activity can affect their health now and for years to come. Today's youth are bombarded by an overwhelming number of choices that challenge their ability to make wise decisions in choosing food or in being active. The messages and activities found in the Power of Choice can help guide preteens toward healthier lifestyles. The Power of Choice includes printed materials in a binder, a CD Rom, reproducible materials, and posters. No previous training is needed to put this user-friendly resource into practice. Just power up, have fun, and learn as you go along!
Team Nutrition is the implementation tool for USDA's School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children. Our goal is to empower schools to serve meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and motivate children in grades pre-K through 12 to make healthy eating choices.
Technical Assistance and Training supports school food service personnel by giving them the tools and skills they need to implement the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children. New recipes created by teams of food service personnel, dietitians, and chefs, and taste-tested by children, are just one example of the materials USDA provides to help schools serve healthier meals with "kid appeal."
We want every child in the nation to have the opportunity to learn how to eat for good health. This ambitious goal is made possible by extensive, strategic public-private partnerships and approximately 300 Team Nutrition Supporters who represent all of the industries that touch children's lives.
Supporters participate in school activities. Schools across the nation will be presenting nutrition and health fairs, tasting events, The Great Nutrition Adventure, and other nutrition education activities throughout the year. Supporters write about Team Nutrition in their newsletters. Supporters let their members know about the great changes taking place in schools and communities across the nation. Supporters reinforce Team Nutrition messages in the community by personalizing and reproducing Team Nutrition materials for employees, constituents and community organizations. Reproducible materials are available through the Team Nutrition headquarters, as listed below.