Grade 4 Healthy Eating Lesson Plan and Activities

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1 Grade 4 Healthy Eating Lesson Plan and Activities Grade 4 Curriculum Expectations for Healthy Eating C2.1 The student will analyze personal food selections through self-monitoring over time, using the criteria in Canada s Food Guide. C3.1 The student will identify ways of promoting healthier food choices in a variety of settings and situations. Teaching/Learning Strategies 1 Eating Well with Canada s Food Guide and Serving Sizes 2 Personal Food Guide 3 Food Diary: What Did I Eat Yesterday? 1. Eating well with Canada s Food Guide and Serving Sizes Description: The students review Canada s Food Guide and learn about portion sizes. A) Hand out copies of Eating Well with Canada s Food Guide activity sheet (appendix A). After a class discussion about the Guidelines, the students complete the activity sheet and share their answers in small groups. Distribute copies of Eating Well with Canada s Food Guide to review the 4 food groups Discuss the number of servings recommended for each food group Ask the students why the arcs of the rainbow on the Food Guide are different sizes Discuss everyday and sometimes foods. Ask the students to give examples of sometimes foods. Introduce the concept of moderation and explain why there is no recommended number of servings of these foods. Review the concept of combination or mixed dishes. Ask students what their favourite combination foods are and figure out together which food groups are represented. Discuss why water is essential and should not be limited. B) Bring in some sample food to provide a visual representation of Canada s Food Guide serving sizes. Sample food ideas: 1 medium apple, banana, orange = 1 serving vegetables and fruit 1 juice box (250 ml) = 2 servings of vegetables and fruit bagel = 2 servings of grain products 500 ml pasta (cooked) = 4 servings of grain products 1 small yogurt (175 ml) = 1 serving of milk and alternatives 2 processed cheese slices = 1 serving of milk and alternatives 175 ml beans/lentils (cooked) = 1 serving of meat and alternatives

2 Another idea is to use common household items to represent food serving sizes: Sample Household Items that Represent Food Serving Sizes: Hardball represents 1 medium sized piece of fruit / 1 cup green leafy salad Tennis Ball represents ½ cup cooked vegetables, rice or pasta Deck of cards represents 75g (2.5 oz.) cooked meat Golf Ball represents 2 tbsp peanut butter or dried fruit 3 dominos represents 50g (2 oz.) of cheese Large Egg represents ¼ cup nuts and seeds. Tip of thumb represents 1 teaspoon fats and oils Have students complete the What s the Serving Size activity sheet (appendix B) using the food guide as a reference. Work on the first couple of foods as a class to help the students understand the concept. As a class take up the answers using the answer key (appendix C). C) Using the Food Guide get students to complete the Serving Size Stumpers activity sheet (appendix D). Answers to Serving Size Stumpers activity sheet are in appendix E. 2. Personal Food Guide Description: Students design their own food guides. A) Using the Personal Food Guide Activity Sheet (appendix F), students design their own personal food guide with illustrations and labels of their favourite foods from each food group. Each arc should display the minimum number of servings for each group. For children 9-13 years of age, the recommended numbers of servings a day are: 6 servings of grain products 6 servings of vegetables and fruit 3-4 servings of milk and alternatives 1-2 servings of meat and alternatives Students may need assistance in figuring out which food groups are represented in their favourite combination foods.

3 B) Everyday Foods and Sometimes Foods Students make a list of foods they ate during the meal before. The class will identify the food groups to which the foods belong as well as which foods are everyday foods or sometimes foods. C) Divide students into groups and have them create a TV commercial that advertises a food using the everyday foods and sometimes foods concept. Discuss how these foods fit into healthy eating. Students role play their commercial for the class. 3. Food Diary: What did I Eat Yesterday? Description: Classroom written work and discussion of healthy choices. A) Using the Food Diary: What Did I Eat Yesterday worksheet (appendix G) students complete a oneday food record. Ask the students to record everything they ate and drank the previous day and total the number of servings from each food group. Other foods can be recorded with a check mark only. Students might need help with recording combination foods. Example: Spaghetti and meatballs Spaghetti 250 ml = 2 servings of grain products Tomato sauce 125 ml = 1 serving of vegetables and fruit Meatballs 5 small = 1 serving of meat and alternatives B) Discuss and/or record: Did you eat the recommended number of servings from all four food groups? Did you eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups? Did you have three meals? Did your snack choice represent food from one or more of the food groups? (note to teacher: having one to three snacks each day is considered a good snacking pattern). Were your food choices everyday foods most of the time? Were your food choices typical for you? If no, why not? (eg. went out to a restaurant, went to a birthday party etc.). Mention that the food record is for only one day and this might not be a good measure of the students overall eating habits.

4 C) Goal Setting: Have the students review their food diary and make a goal to eat the recommended number of servings from each of the food groups. Brainstorm ways they can achieve this (e.g. put cheese on their sandwich, bring milk in their lunch). Background Notes for Teachers Eating Well with Canada s Food Guide Based on nutrition and food science research, the principles of healthy eating for Canadians two years of age and older are communicated throughout Canada s Food Guide (2007). Eating Well with Canada s Food Guide describes what amount of food people need and what type of food is part of a healthy eating pattern. These recommendations help people get enough vitamins, minerals and nutrients, reduce the risks of illness and achieve growth, wellness and energy. The eating pattern describes four food groups vegetables and fruits, grain products, milk and alternatives and meat and alternatives plus a small amount of unsaturated oils and fats. Enjoy a variety of foods from the four food groups, varying in colour, flavour and texture. Emphasis is on vegetables and fruits and whole grain products. Choose foods and beverages lower in fat, sugar and salt. Spread your meals and snacks throughout the day to keep energized. Do not skip meals, including breakfast as it helps control hunger and overeating at a later time. Satisfy thirst with water and limit your intake of high calorie sweetened drinks. The positive, diverse aspects of eating are encouraged by trying different foods including those of other ethnic and cultural groups. The Food Guide recognizes that healthy eating is the sum total of all food choices made over time. It is the overall pattern of food eaten and not any one food or meal. Physical Activity Both eating well and being active are essential for optimal overall health. Children and youth need minutes of activity every day. When children are active, they are more likely to recognize when they are hungry and when they are full. This allows them to eat enough to meet their nutritional needs and have the energy they need to carry out their activities.

5 Understanding Everyday and Sometimes Foods When asked about healthy eating, children tend to classify foods as good or bad. This classification will not help children develop a positive approach to eating. To create a favourable pattern of healthy eating, a secondary classification of foods as everyday and sometimes foods can be used. Foods that are high in nutrients can be considered everyday foods while sometimes foods are those low in nutrients. Foods higher in calories, fat, sugar or salt such as french fries, cake and ice cream are not pictured on the Canada s Food Guide rainbow as part of the healthy eating pattern. No recommended number of servings is provided for these sometimes foods as they are not very nutritious. They should be eaten in moderation. There are some sometimes foods that we eat almost every day. This is acceptable as long as we eat the correct amount and type of everyday foods also. It is important to recognize it is not a clear-cut process and differs for each person depending on their needs and eating habits. For example, there is a difference between eating cookies every day with a sandwich, piece of fruit and carton of milk for lunch and eating a lunch of potato chips, pop and cookies every day. Combination Foods Casseroles, chili, moussaka, pizza, stir-fry, pilau, spaghetti, soup, stew, fajitas, quesadillas and sandwiches are all made of foods from more than one food group as well as additions such as oil. These are called combination foods. Counting the number of Food Guide servings in one of these combination foods requires that people know what ingredients are in the meal and how much of each food was used to make it. Recommended Number of Servings The amount of food needed every day from the four food groups depends on age, body size, gender, activity level and how fast a child is growing. That is why the Food Guide gives a range of servings for each food group. The four arcs of the rainbow reflect the relative number of servings that people need from each food group. For example, we need to eat lots of servings from the Grain Products group, the largest arc, while only a few servings from the Meat and Alternatives group, the smallest arc. For children 9-13 years of age, the recommended number of servings a day is: 6 servings of grain products 6 servings of vegetables and fruits 3-4 servings of milk and alternatives 1-2 servings of meat and alternatives All children are different and have different energy needs. As a general rule, if children eat according to their appetites and choose foods from the four food groups, over time they will get the nourishment they need.

6 Serving Sizes Canada s Food Guide provides examples of the amount of food that makes up one Food Guide serving. It is a reference amount to help people understand how much food is recommended every day from each of the food groups. The amount of food a person eats in a meal or snack may be more or less than one Food Guide serving. The size of the serving eaten is determined by factors such as age, appetite, and size of the bowl or plate. A child may choose a smaller portion while an adult may choose a larger portion size per serving. Portions of food are often large, especially those served to people eating out at restaurants. Calories A calorie is a measure of how much energy the nutrients can supply the body. The body uses the food eaten as fuel, burning it to produce energy. The body needs energy to function during times of rest, heavy exercise and the activities in between. Some nutrients have more calories than others do. There are four calories in each gram of carbohydrate and each gram of protein. There are nine calories in each gram of fat. Vitamins, minerals and water do not provide calories. Carbohydrates There are three basic types of carbohydrates complex carbohydrates (eg starch), fibre and simple carbohydrates (eg sugar). They are all found in plant foods. The recommendation for children 4-18 years of age is 45-65% of energy (total calories) is provided from carbohydrates. Eating patterns that are high in complex carbohydrates and fibre are associated with a lower incidence of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Some common sources of carbohydrates are grains (wheat, oats, millet and rice), legumes (peas, beans and lentils), vegetables, fruit and grain-based foods (bread, cereal, pasta). Canada s Food Guide encourages people to eat more fibre-rich foods such as whole grain products, vegetables, fruit and dried peas, beans and lentils. Most people need to eat more fibre to help their digestive system operate smoothly. In most cases, fibre does not provide energy because the body cannot digest it. Instead, it helps people stay healthy simply by passing through the body. Fat Fat is the body s major form of energy storage and is needed for many body functions. The body obtains fat by making it and also through dietary sources. There are different types of dietary fat and it is found in both plant and animal foods. The types of fat found in plant and animal foods are different and have different effects on the body. Fat from animal foods has been shown to increase the risk of some illnesses like heart disease, while fat from plant foods has been shown to do the reverse. The bottom line in reducing the risk to some illnesses is to maintain an overall lower fat diet, especially lower animal based fat. During the pre-school and childhood years, nutritious food choices should not be eliminated or restricted because of fat content. During early adolescence, energy needed for growth should be emphasized first, followed by a gradual lowering of fat intake. Once linear growth has stopped, the fat intake currently recommended for adults is appropriate. The recommendation for children 4-18 years of age is 25-35% of energy (total calories) is provided from fat.

7 Protein Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant substances in the human body. Proteins are found in every cell of the body and are essential for many body functions. Proteins are made up of amino acids that the body uses to develop bone, muscle, skin and blood. Despite popular beliefs regarding protein, such as more protein means bigger muscles, excess protein is used as energy. If this energy is in excess of the body s needs, it will be stored as fat. The recommendation for children 4-18 years of age is 10-30% of energy (total calories) is provided from protein. Most Canadians easily meet or surpass this intake. Some common sources of dietary protein are meats, nuts, milk products (cheese, yogurt, and milk), grains (wheat, oats, millet and rice), legumes (peas, beans, lentils), eggs and tofu. Vitamins Vitamins do not provide energy but do help the body grow and stay healthy. Fruits, vegetables and enriched grain products are good sources of many vitamins. Vitamin A is an example of a vitamin that helps keep our skin healthy and helps us to see at night. Carrots, spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin A. Other examples of vitamins our bodies need are vitamins C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (eg folic acid). Minerals Minerals help build bones and teeth and are needed to make muscles work properly. Calcium is an example of a mineral that helps build bones and teeth. Milk products are an excellent source of calcium. Other examples of minerals that we get from food that our bodies need are potassium, sodium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and copper. Water About 50-75% of our total body weight is water. A person can survive only a few days without water. Water has many functions including carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, maintaining body temperature and assisting in digestion and respiration. Drink water regularly to satisfy thirst and promote hydration without adding the calories, sugar, fat and salt that are in many drinks(eg pop, energy or sports drinks). Under normal circumstances, the body loses about 0.5 L of water per day through perspiration. In hot weather and when a person is very active, a person can lose much more. It is important to teach students about drinking enough water (about L per day) to be adequately hydrated. Becoming dehydrated can cause fatigue, weakness, headache, irritability, dizziness and even decreased physical performance. Listening to one s thirst trigger is not always enough. Ensure that children have easy access to water and encourage them to drink frequently. Reference: Eating Well with Canada s Food Guide, A Resource for Educators and Communicators, Health Canada, 2007.

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