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Monday Morning Ready08.30.2019
Jumpstart Your Week!

The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for taxes to be implemented on sugary drinks. It was a sign of growing concern over the amount of sugar kids are consuming. They are consuming them via sodas, sweetened juices and other beverages.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Which kind of beverage are you most likely to drink: water, juice, soda or milk? Why?

Grade 5-6

Do you think you drink enough water during the day? If not, what are three things you can do to increase your water intake?

Grade 7-8

According to the article, sugary drinks have been linked to childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, dental problems and high cholesterol. Does knowing this make you want to drink more water and fewer sugary drinks? Why or why not?

Grade 9-10

According to the article, a number of social issues contribute to children not drinking enough water. If you could identify the main cause for low water consumption where you live, what would it be? Why? What could be done about the problem so children in your area drank more water?

LESSON PLAN
Create a Healthy Meal Plan

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, discuss what it means to eat healthy. Encourage students to describe how they feel after they've eaten a good meal-and how they feel after they've eaten a lot of junk.
  2. Point out that people follow many different diets. They make food choices based on factors including personal preferences or beliefs, religious guidelines and health issues such as allergies. Guide students to understand that no matter what diet someone follows, it is still possible to eat healthy.
  3. Encourage students to conduct research to learn about healthy eating plans. Or, have them review the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) MyPlate Plan to learn about food group targets and personalized food plans.
  4. Using what they learned, instruct students to create a healthy eating plan for the week. Challenge older students to create a meal plan for the entire month.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their meal plans with the class. Instruct them to explain how they incorporated foods from each food group to create a healthy plan. Encourage them to also explain how they personalized the meal plan-adding more of a food they like or omitting one they don't- to create a custom plan that suits their tastes.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Review the USDA's MyPlate Plan, or another meal-planning program, as a class. Then divide the class into small groups. Challenge each group to create a meal plan for the week.
Grades 5-6:
Review the USDA's MyPlate Plan, or another meal-planning program, as a class. Then divide the class into small groups. Challenge each group to create a meal plan for the week. Then have each group member tweak the plan so it better fits his or her personal food preferences, while still maintaining an overall healthy food plan for the week.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to conduct research to learn about healthy foods and how to create a healthy meal plan. Then have each pair create a healthy meal plan for the month. Encourage partners to calculate the number of calories consumed on each day. Challenge them to revise the meal plan to create a lower-calorie version for someone who is trying to lose weight.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Divide the pairs into three groups: personal, religious, and health. Inform students that they will conduct research to learn about healthy foods and how to create a healthy meal plan. Then each pair will create a healthy meal plan for the month-but their plan must be customized according to the category they were assigned. How they customize it is up to them. After students create and present their meal plans, lead a class discuss about food. Encourage students to recognize that no matter what the situation, it is always possible to have a healthy diet.
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Food History: Exploring History, One Bite at a Time
Visit this National Museum of American History site to explore a rich menu of collections, exhibitions, programs and blogs about food.

Good Food Guide
This lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is designed to provoke conversation around healthy food and eating habits both at school and at home. Over the course of two lessons, elementary students will identify and select healthy food choices, understand good food choices, create and present ideas and justify their decisions to classmates.

The Government Taste Testers Who Reshaped America’s Diet
In the 1930s, a forgotten federal bureau experimented with ways to make soy and other products more popular in the U.S. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn all about it.

Feeding the Animals at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Do you think people are the only ones who have to worry about a healthy diet? Think again! Watch this video to learn how nutritionists ensure a healthy diet for all the animals at the National Zoo.

The Scientist Behind Some of Our Favorite Junk Foods
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn about William A. Mitchell, the man who invented Cool Whip, Pop Rocks, Tang and other 20th-century treats.

Vacuum Packed Space Food: It’s What’s for Dinner
From John Glenn’s food in a tube to the shuttle astronauts’ candy coated chocolates, space food has come a long way. In this fast-paced webcast from NASA’s STEM in 30 program students learn about the history of space food, how food is prepared and packaged for space and the changes in nutrition over time.

The History of Five Uniquely American Sandwiches
From tuna fish to the lesser-known woodcock, food experts peer under the bread and find the story of a nation. To hear that story, read this Smithsonian magazine article.
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