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Mypyramid: Simple Steps For Healthy Living Mypyramid-Simple-Steps-For-Healthy-Living?

  • Subject:
  • |
  • Grade(s): 9-12
  • |
  • Duration: 2 class periods

Lesson Plan Sections

Student Objectives


  • Describe the elements that make up MyPyramid.
  • Explain the importance of eating appropriate amounts from all the different food groups and getting enough physical activity.
  • Use the MyPyramid.gov Web site to create a personal set of food guidelines.
  • Create a food diary to record one week's worth of meals, and analyze the entries in comparison to personalized plan from MyPyramid.

Materials


  • My Pyramid: Simple Steps to Healthy Living
  • Computer with Internet access and printer(see note at bottom of Procedures if computer access is limited )

Procedures


  1. After watching the video, open a class discussion on eating habits. Do students think about the nutritional value of what they're eating, or do they just grab whatever is handy and tastes good? From which food group do they eat the most? From which food groups should they eat more? How does what their families eat influence what they eat? Have they ever thought about trying to make healthier food choices? Have they ever tried to keep track of what they eat?
  2. Discuss how exercise and good nutrition impact overall health. How much exercise do they get every day?
  3. Explain that each student will be using the MyPyramid.gov Web site to get personal food recommendations based on age, gender, and level of physical activity. Then they'll track what they eat and how much exercise they get for a one week period.
  4. Have each student go towww.mypyramid.gov. Fill in the box on the right side of the screen with the student's age, gender, and the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity he or she gets on most days. Click "submit" to create a personalized MyPyramid Plan page.
  5. On the MyPyramid Plan page read the food recommendations based on the information provided by the student. Print a copy of these recommendations by following the link on the right side of the screen that reads, "Click here to view and print PDF version of your results."
  6. Return to the MyPyramid Plan page and follow the link on the right side of the screen that reads, "Click here to view and print a PDF of a helpful Meal Tracking Sheet." The sheet will list the amounts of food recommended from each group for that student. Have the student print seven copies. They can use the blank side of the sheet to list what they ate at each meal and then fill in the chart to see how many servings they ate from each food group.
  7. If time and the number of computers permits, have students explore the rest of the MyPyramid site, which offers tips and suggestions for putting the guidelines to use.
  8. When they've completed the food diary, have students write a 1–2 page report analyzing how their food choices compared to their MyPyramid plan. They should include the following information:
    • How many days did what they ate match their MyPyramid plan?
    • On average, how much did they eat from each food group? Was that more or less than the recommended amount in their plan?
    • Give examples of which of their food choices belong in the widest part of a group's color band on the pyramid? Which would be in the narrow part of the band? (Example: An apple would be in the wide part of the red fruit band because it is high in nutrients; a slice of apple pie would be in the narrow part of the band because, even though it contains fruit, it has a lot of fat and sugar.)
    • How much exercise did they get each day?
    • Did keeping the food diaries cause them to make any changes to their diet?
    • What affect will keeping the diaries have on their eating habits in the future?

Note: If computers are not available during class, these links will provide the same information as above and can be printed ahead of class:

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Assessment


Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • 3 points:  The student described the elements of MyPyramid and explained the importance of balancing proper nutrition with physical activity; used the MyPyramid Web site to create a personal nutrition plan; kept a complete food diary, and wrote a report containing all the requested information.
  • 2 points:  The student described some elements of MyPyramid and explained one reason why it's important to balance proper nutrition with physical activity; used the MyPyramid Web site to create a personal nutrition plan; kept a partially complete food diary and wrote a report containing most of the requested information.
  • 1 point:  Student did not describe any elements of MyPyramid or explain the importance of balancing proper nutrition with physical activity; did not use the MyPyramid Web site to create a personal nutrition plan, did not complete a food diary and did not write a report containing the requested information.

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Vocabulary


carbohydrate
Definition: An organic compound found in the form of starch, sugar, or fiber; one of the three basic food types and a major source of dietary energy
Context: While scientists have debated how many carbohydrates should be eaten each day, most agree that they are an important part of a healthy diet.

calorie
Definition: A unit of measurement of energy produced by food when it is used in the body
Context: Calories that the body does not burn for energy are stored as muscle or fat.

diet
Definition: The types and amount of food eaten each day
Context: Eating a balanced diet means selecting the recommended number of servings of foods from each of the three main food groups-proteins, carbohydrates, and fats-each day.

fat
Definition: High-energy nutrients that contain twice as much energy as an equal amount of carbohydrates; one of the three basic food types
Context: While foods high in fat taste good and can fill you up, they also contain a lot of calories and can lead to significant weight gain.

nutrients
Definition: Substances, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, found in foods that people need to stay healthy
Context: Teenagers need to consume a great deal of calcium, the nutrient that helps build strong bones and teeth.

protein
Definition: A naturally occurring substance made of amino acids and found in animal products and some plant products; one of the three basic food types
Context: Our bones and teeth need protein, which is found in meats, fish, egg whites, nuts, and grains.

vitamin
Definition: An organic substance necessary for health and growth
Context: The human body can't make most of the vitamins it needs so it's important to get them from the foods we eat.

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Academic Standards


National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences provides guidelines for teaching science in grades K–12 to promote scientific literacy. To view the standards, visit this Web site: books.nap.edu/html/nses/html/overview.html#content.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal and community health
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visitwww.mcrel.org/compendium/browse.asp.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Health: Knows how to maintain and promote personal health
  • Health: Knows essential concepts about prevention and control of disease
  • Health: Understands the fundamental concepts of growth and development

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