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Teaching Students about MyPlate

At the end of this past school year I was teaching my last group of seventh graders about nutrition and the Food Pyramid. That night on the news, I heard about the new USDA “MyPlate.” I was surprised I hadn’t heard a single thing about it before. I always try to stay, at the very least, one step ahead of my students. I was so glad I had stayed up to watch news, as sure enough, my students mentioned it in class the next day.

The USDA now has a website choosemyplate.gov, which I am sure all of you have seen. At a recent FCCLA conference, I heard repeatedly from other FACS teachers that I was not the only one who was blind sighted. Teachers were scrambling to purchase My Plate materials for their classroom. (Thank you LZX!)

I thought I'd share an idea for using the choosemyplate.gov website in the classroom. Have students go on-line to choosemyplate.gov. Click on “The Basics- Interactive Tools” and then click on “Daily Food Plan.” Students should enter their personal information to find out the recommended quantity of servings they should consume each day.

Encourage students to print or record these quantities. Using the information they should make a poster/collage using magazine pictures or draw food that demonstrates the proportion of food they should consume each day from the food group.

You could also require them to break up the servings throughout the day – 3 plates and snacks.

What are some ideas you have developed to teach your students about “MyPlate?”

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