Teaching Healthy Habits in the Elementary Classroom

Dianne Esplin, Team Nutrition Coordinator

Would you love to teach a unit on nutrition to your students, but don’t know where to begin? Free resources are available to help teachers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has several nutrition education curricular materials available for elementary grades that are aligned to content standards and address healthy eating and/or school gardens.

For teFor teachers who want to incorporate healthy eating into their classroom instruction, the Serving Up My Plate has curriculum for three grade levels: 1st-2nd grade, 3rd-4th grade, and 5th-6th grade. There are nine lessons in each grade level, and the curriculum is aligned to standards in English Language Arts (Idaho Core Standards), Math (Idaho Core Standards), Science (National Academy of Science Standards), and Health (American Cancer Association Standards).

For teachers interested in including a school garden into their classroom instruction, there are a number of curricular materials available:

For teachers looking to incorporate nutrition into their afterschool programs, the USDA offers the Power of Choice curriculum. copies of Digital copies of all the previously mentioned materials and more are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Educators/. Hard copies of some of these materials are available free of charge while supplies last to schools who participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). To check availability and order materials, fill out the order form for Team Nutrition print materials.

For more information, contact me directly at desplin@sde.idaho.gov.