Dedham Elementary Students Have Fun with Food Groups!

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May 16, 2024


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The Dedham Public School District pledges to create a school environment that fosters and safeguards lifelong health, well-being, and optimal learning by instilling healthy eating habits in students and encouraging physical activity through the implementation of their Wellness Policy. Their programa de nutrição recognizes that nutritious meals and academic achievement are closely intertwined. The district strongly believes that nutrition education in early childhood can begin to teach children the connection between food and health, equipping them with the knowledge necessary to adopt healthy dietary practices they can carry into adulthood.

Student dietitian standing in the front of the classroom
Isabel McDonnell teaching fifth graders about the food groups

On March 25th, 2024, Dedham Public Schools teamed up with Framingham State University, inviting student dietitian, Isabel McDonnell, to teach fifth graders how to make healthy food choices using the MyPlate guidelines by introducing the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy). Students learned the importance of adding color and balance to their plates and were eager to learn about fruits and vegetables they had never heard of before, such as dragon fruit and eggplant! All students shared their favorite food from each of the food groups and collaborated with peers to devise their dream healthy dinner. Isabel ended the lesson with a fun, interactive game where students selected food models and placed them in one of five baskets, each of which represented a different food group.

Interested in implementing nutrition education into your classroom but not sure where to begin? Check out The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition, which offers a wide array of engaging lessons for middle and high school students as well as elementary school students.

Submitted by: Isabel McDonnell, FSU Food and Nutrition Graduate Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.