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Why Should You Teach Nutrition Education in Your Classroom?

Why should you not?  Nutrition education is crucial to the well-being of every child!  The benefits of nutrition education are too valuable to pass up.  In fact, existing data suggests with better nutrition, students are better able to learn, have fewer absences, and their behavior improves, causing fewer disruptions in the classroom.  The benefits of nutrition education reach far beyond the classroom, too!  From students making healthier choices at home and at school to improved academic performance, nutrition education can benefit the entire school.  Nutrition education empowers students to select and enjoy healthier foods and helps develop healthy lifestyles.

While nutrition can be taught as a separate subject, few teachers are able to squeeze it in with all of the other curriculum demands.  However, nutrition can be seamlessly integrated into many subjects!  Check out the lesson plans, activities, and resources below:

Florida's Farm to School Harvest of the Month is an educational program that highlights a different Florida-grown product each month and helps cultivate a healthy food and farm connection.  The resources are FREE and include lesson plans, worksheets, newsletters, posters, and more.  Materials are available for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.

Drexel University Nutrition Education Program has created a variety of structured classroom lessons to encourage students to build healthier habits.  Both Middle School and High School lessons are available at no cost.

PBS Teachers Health, Fitness, & Nutrition Lesson Plans - Lesson plans, activities, and videos pertaining to fitness and nutrition

Team Nutrition offers a variety of lessons and activities for students of all ages and free printed copies of educational materials may also be requested.

National Agriculture in the Classroom provides multiple resources to help increase agricultural literacy among your students, including access to The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix, which is an online, searchable, and standards-based curriculum map for K-12 teachers.

Florida Agriculture in the Classroom offers K-12 grade lessons that are hands on, correlated to recent standards and teach core subject areas.

Fresh from Florida has creative classroom activities, online resources, and innovative ideas on how to integrate nutrition education into lesson plans.  Lesson and activities range from K-12th grade level.

OrganWise Guys is a comprehensive preschool and elementary school curriculum built around a group of engaging characters that personify the major organs of the body to teach children and adults about the importance of healthy eating and being physically fit.  Learn more about how the School Food Service Department is implementing this program in Palm Beach County Schools here.

Reliable Sources of Nutrition Information:

With nutrition and diet information seemingly everywhere, sometimes it is hard to decipher what is accurate nutrition information and what is not.  Below are timely, evidence-based resources for information on nutrition and diet:

School Gardens

Check out our new Garden Webpage!

School gardens create a unique and hands-on learning opportunity for both students and teachers!  Benefits of school gardening are numerous:

  • Promotes environmental stewardship and a connection with nature
  • Opportunity for education, exercise, and social interaction
  • Preserves green space and beautifies school grounds
  • Engages students and creates a sense of school spirit and pride
  • Produces nutritious food that can be shared with students and the community

A FREE school garden curriculum is available to Florida teachers through Florida Agriculture in the Classroom!  Gardening for Gradesand Gardening for Nutrition are comprehensive guides for Florida educators to teach health, science, language arts, math, and more using a school garden. Click below for more information.

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For More Information...

If you would like more information on nutrition education in the classroom, please contact Jennifer Rosebrook Havers, MPH, RDN, LDN at jennifer.rosebrook@palmbeachschools.org or Chantal Gellermann, DTR, at chantal.gellermann@palmbeachschools.org.

Questions? Call (888) 383-2025 for assistance

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