March 5, 2014
21st Century Interdisciplinary Theme
According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, schools should not only focus on mastery of core subjects, but also promote understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects. One of these themes is health literacy, which involves understanding preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition and exercise, as well as using available information to make appropriate health-related decisions.
Here are some ideas to focus your students’ attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Eat! Move! Play!
Promoting healthy nutrition and fitness for America’s youth, Champions for Healthy Kids has helped nearly 1 million children since its inception in 2002. Launched in partnership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Champions for Healthy Kids has become a flagship program of the General Mills Foundation, distributing more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.
Through the Champions for Healthy Kids program, the General Mills Foundation will award 50 grants of $20,000 each to nonprofit organizations working to improve nutrition and physical fitness behaviors for youth. To be eligible, organizations must have a current 501(c)(3) Public Charity status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and be a school or a unit of government. Programs should focus on youth aged 2–18 and incorporate physical education and nutrition education. A registered dietician or registered dietetic technician must oversee the delivery of the nutrition education. Online applications are due by March 14, 2014; grant recipients will be announced on May 31, 2014.
Enjoy the Taste!
National Nutrition Month (NNM) is a nutrition education and information campaign conducted annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2014 is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.
The consumer market overflows with publications on nutrition, fitness and health. NNM’s online guide identifies and describes books that provide timely and scientifically based nutrition information you can trust. Topics include Child and Teen Nutrition, Diabetes, Food Sensitivities, Nutrition and Lifestyle, Special Needs and Sports Nutrition. The publications on The Good Nutrition Reading List cover a broad range of nutrition and health topics and provide reliable, timely nutrition information for personal, school, library and community use. Most of the publications are available at local libraries and bookstores.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in partnership with the Chinese Americans in Dietetics Nutrition Member Interest Group and the Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition Member Interest Group (LAHIDAN), offers food and nutrition information in Chinese and Spanish. The information may be downloaded, free of charge, as PDF files.
Chew on This!
The Described and Captioned Media Program’s (DCMP) free-loan video library includes several titles for teaching good nutrition habits, including My Plate, My Health: The Latest Nutrition Guidelines, Create A Great Plate (with accompanying Lesson Guide), The Parakeet Show: Nutrition (presented in Spanish) and Eat Smart, Stay Healthy (presented in American Sign Language).
I have found this book to be most helpful in finding the grant sources to fund classes I coordinate to aid provisional licensed teachers who cannot pass the national teachers' exam.