Teachers Are Hungry for Nutrition Education Resources


Teachers Are Hungry for Nutrition Education Resources

01, July 2019 12:00 PM

Teachers across California are placing more value and emphasis on students’ health and well-being than ever before. To help students increase their understanding of what healthy eating looks like, educators are using science-based resources like Dairy Council of California’s nutrition education curriculum in their classrooms. 


Satomi Fujikawa, a teacher at Country Lane Elementary School in San Jose, is a great example of an educator who empowers her students to make healthier choices through Dairy Council of California’s nutrition education workbooks. Using the newly revised third-grade Shaping Up My Choices program, Ms. Fujikawa taught her 26 students about nutrition and the importance of healthy eating patterns. 


I observed Ms. Fujikawa in action as she taught a lesson on nutrient power and nutrition facts labels. Following the teacher guide, she began the lesson with a brain break activity. The students got up and got active with a five-minute physical activity that included jumping jacks, squats and planks. The students loved the activity and were noticeably excited and energized. One even asked, “Can we do this every day?!” 


As the lesson continued, Ms. Fujikawa taught the students about the importance of each food group and its contribution to their overall health. To add real-life context to the lesson, students learned to read nutrition facts labels on foods and were asked to bring an example from home the following day. 


Ending the lesson, the teacher asked, “Why is it important to eat nutritious foods?” The students responded with variations of, “It’s good for your body,” and “If you only eat one food, then your body won’t get everything it needs.”


I followed up with Ms. Fujikawa more recently to hear her feedback after completing all five program lessons with her students. It was great to hear how she valued the program. She was able to inspire her students to be conscious of the impact of healthy foods on their bodies, and she connected nutrition to the class garden. In class, I was encouraged to see student posters featuring food pictures and empty food labels positioned next to a hand-written question, “What is the healthy choice?” It was clear to me that her students now knew the answer. 


Dairy Council of California’s nutrition education classroom curriculum and resources are always free to California educators. Ordering is easy. Visit HealthyEating.org/Schools to order today. I encourage all educators to empower their students on healthy eating and how to make healthy choices that will last a lifetime. 


Jammie Lam
Community Nutrition Advisor 

Tags: classroom Country Lane Elementary School food groups Healthy eating healthy eating patterns Jammie Lam nutrition education Shaping Up My Choices Teachers

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