Are you old enough to remember the food pyramid? I know I am, and I definitely didn’t eat enough vegetables as a kid. Gone are the days of the food pyramid. It has been replaced by MyPlate which is the USDA’s new(ish) nutrition guide for Americans of all ages.
The MyPlate website is actually pretty cool and easy to use. What students like about it is you can take a quiz of sorts and find out how much of each food you should be eating. They also give suggestions for what foods to eat and how many calories.
1- This free MyPlate activity has students creating meal plans for people of different life stages and matching their meals with their ages. Additionally, it is a great activity to use as a sub-plan or as a review of MyPlate meal planning.
2- This Nutrition Label Digital Escape Room is a great way to reinforce MyPlate and reading food labels. Not surprisingly, It’s fun for students to crack codes, and is a no-prep option for your class for a busy week! Interested in reading more about using digital escape rooms in the classroom? Here’s our blog post about that!
3- A Vitamins and Minerals Webquest is an interactive way to get kids to explore essential nutrients. This is a tough and somewhat dry topic to teach so this Webquest can help make it more interesting and has students exploring the CDC, USDA, and other websites for information.
4- Nutrition Bell Ringer Journal…my favorite! I am a huge fan of starting each class with bell ringers or bellwork, especially bell ringer journals. They are such a great way to create a routine in your classroom that will alleviate a lot of issues with students settling down when the bell rings and it helps them start thinking about the subject you teach. These get the kids thinking about MyPlate, careers in nutrition, cooking healthy meals, vitamins and minerals, and a lot more!
5- Research Assignment– Have students research the effects of an unhealthy diet and create a slideshow or advertisement promoting healthy eating. Students have fun creating their own ad either in video form or as a poster to encourage others to eat healthy with statistics and facts. This is a great way to sneak in some Project-Based Learning (PBL) into your curriculum.
Another idea is to invite a dietitian into the classroom to discuss with students what is best to eat daily and how to create a healthy eating meal plan. If they can’t come in person, you can invite them to speak remotely to the class and students can prepare questions ahead of time to ask them during the class.
Here are some other nutrition lesson plan ideas for high school students.