There are hundreds of important lessons and concepts that students will learn in school, and the many benefits of good nutrition is certainly one of them. While not all students have access to, or the ability to influence their consumption of healthy foods, an understanding of what foods keep a body healthy will be useful throughout their lives. Celebrating National Nutrition Month starts with encouraging students to make healthy food choices. Check out these 5 classroom activities to get your students thinking about how their choices keep their bodies happy and healthy.
What is National Nutrition Month?
March is National Nutrition Month. The campaign was started in 1973 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It focuses on making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.
Some of the key messages to highlight during National Nutrition Month:
- Mix things up — try to eat a variety of healthy foods regularly
- Be mindful of portion sizes — eating or drinking only as much as your body needs
- Use good food safety practices — keep things clean!
- Keep moving — find activities you enjoy that keep you moving
5 Classroom Activities for National Nutrition Month
Interview a Healthy Food
Break students into groups and have one student in each group dress up as a healthy food option (fruit, vegetable, protein, etc). Have the group research and learn about their specific healthy food and put together an interview skit where the dressed-up student answers questions about what makes them a healthy choice for a snack or meal.
Print off food or physical activity-related coloring pages. Once students have colored in the image, have them describe or write about the benefits of choosing the healthy food options or physical activities shown in the picture.
This is a simple option, but it can help students organize healthy food options in their minds. Have them find words in categories like fruits, vegetables, proteins, legumes, etc., and then discuss as a group which words they found and which category of healthy food they belong in. Then go over the health benefits of incorporating all the different food categories into their diet.
Hiding Healthy Foods
Use toy food or printed images of healthy food options and hide them around the room. Have the class, one at a time, find healthy food hiding somewhere in the classroom and tell the group about the food they found. Perhaps offer a bonus prize for students who can correctly categorize the healthy food.
Make a Healthy Snack
What better way to showcase healthy food options than to create a healthy snack in class? Choose something simple and walk students through the benefits of the chosen healthy ingredients and then the process of creating the snack. While students enjoy eating the snack they made, go over other healthy ingredient choices students should consider when looking for a healthy snack option.
Nutrition Month Recipe Ideas
Looking for a healthy snack idea to make with your class or suggest to students who need examples of healthy recipes to try? Consider one of these two recipes and use them to open the minds of picky eaters or discuss the specific benefits of eating certain healthy foods.