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USDA Helps Make Nutrition Education Fun For Kids

Here is a poster from the Dig In! curriculum that educators can post in the class room to encourage healthy eating.

Here is a poster from the Dig In! curriculum that educators can post in the class room to encourage healthy eating.

Research shows that students with healthful eating patterns tend to do better in school, and it’s important that children begin learning about food and nutrition when they’re young. In support of that goal, the Food and Nutrition Service recently released three free sets of curriculum educators can use to empower children to make healthful food choices and develop an awareness of how fruits and vegetables are grown.

The Great Garden Detective Adventure curriculum for 3rd and 4th grades includes 11 lessons, bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents/caregivers.  Kids will discover what fruits and vegetables are sweetest, crunchiest, and juiciest through investigations and fun experiences connecting the school garden to the classroom, school cafeteria and home.

Dig In! is a supplemental unit for 5th and 6th grades with 10 inquiry-based lessons, a gardening guide, Dig In! at Home booklets for parents/caregivers, and six colorful posters encouraging fruit and vegetable choices.

Both Garden Detective and Dig In! lessons are linked to education standards in one or more of the following subjects:  Science (National Academy of Sciences), English Language Arts (Common Core State Standards Initiative), Math (Common Core State Standards Initiative), and Health (American Cancer Society).

Anyone can access and download these materials from the Team Nutrition Web site.  Schools participating in the Child Nutrition Programs (e.g., National School Lunch Program) can also order free print copies of materials. The Great Garden Detective Adventure will be available in print this month and Dig In! in August.

For younger children, FNS’ updated Grow It! Try It! Like It!: Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables links activities at child care centers with resources for use at home. Since routine food choices for young children are determined by their families and adult care givers, these lessons encourage children to try new fruits and vegetables again and again. Children are taught to touch, smell, and taste new fruits and vegetables. The curriculum also integrates planting activities to help little ones connect the delicious food choices at the table with the different growing conditions and plants that produce fruits and vegetables.

The curriculum includes one introduction and resource book, six lesson books (three fruits and three vegetables-nutrition education and gardening activities), take home materials, a supplemental materials CD and The Cool Puppy Pup DVD. Child care centers and schools participating in the Child Nutrition Programs will be able to request free print copies later this year. All materials are currently available online.

Here is a poster from the Dig In! curriculum that educators can post in the class room to encourage healthy eating.

Here is a poster from the Dig In! curriculum that educators can post in the class room to encourage healthy eating.

6 Responses to “USDA Helps Make Nutrition Education Fun For Kids”

  1. Cande Friedman says:

    We would love several of these posters! I am a master gardener at a public elementary school. How can we get several of these posters for our school?
    Thanks!

  2. Carol Maniaci says:

    I would love to have copies of these fun and educational
    nutrition posters.I’m a food service manager for a private
    Catholic school in Maplewood Mn.Our cafeteria could really
    brighten up.!

    Thanks,
    Carol

  3. Willie Collier says:

    My center would love to have both posters in both of our cafeterias

  4. Robie RIch says:

    These are great! How do we get these posters? I love the information and the seeds that you have been sending! We are a very small rural school, but with a garden that I would like to continue to see flourish.
    Thank you,
    RRich

  5. Sally Kirchoff says:

    We are having a Healthy Kid’s Fair in two counties and would love to have copies of your eye catching healthy eating posters to use at education tables. How can I buy them?

    Sally Kirchoff
    Randall children’s Hospital
    2801 N. Gantenbein Ave
    Portland, Oregon 97227

  6. Kim Ekstrom says:

    Our school has had a grant the past 3 years that provides fresh vegetables and fruit everyday to be provided in the classrooms. I work in the kitchen and would love to have these posters hanging in the cafeteria! How can I get them?

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