education, MyPlate

MyPlate Nutrition Education Resources

<- Jump to the Resources Chart ->

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I help people of all ages learn how to eat in a way that is healthful, enjoyable, and meets their individual needs. Many people look for nutrition information on their own, and it seems like it’s easy to find – however, unfortunately much of the nutrition information out there is inaccurate, and some nutrition advice can even be harmful. 

Fortunately, there are some accurate resources available if you know where to look. One of my favorites is MyPlate, a nutrition guide published by the USDA, which is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I use MyPlate regularly as a nutrition education resource.

Some may argue that MyPlate isn’t perfect, and in all reality, because everyone’s nutrition needs are different, it’s challenging to create one model to represent everyone’s needs. However, if the majority of Americans followed MyPlate for the majority of their meals, our nation’s health situation would look much better than it currently does.

When it comes to laying a strong foundation for nutrition education, MyPlate will be our starting point. Let’s take a look at how Nutrition From The Hart MyPlate Resources are being built.

First, I’m using the OPEN Priority Learning Outcomes for Physical Education as my learning targets for each grade level. OPEN’s outcomes are based on National and State standards, they offer a well-defined learning progression, and as a member of the OPEN Development Council, I had a voice in the final draft of the nutrition-specific outcomes. (Full disclosure, I’m also married to OPEN’s executive director and am constantly reminding him to eat more vegetables.)

An essential part of OPEN’s nutrition outcomes is an understanding of the 5 food groups. As someone who’s worked directly with college students for years, I can’t overstate how important this knowledge is. The unfortunate reality is that too many young people don’t know which foods belong in which food group, let alone how to put those foods together to build a healthful diet.

In dissecting each nutrition outcome I’ve identified 8 critical vocabulary words that must be understood before more work can be done. Once those 8 words have been learned, teachers can begin to introduce additional words and concepts. To expand the scope and usefulness of my work I’ve also identified the related National Health Education Standards and Performance Indicators and pulled meaningful vocabulary from each indicator.

With all of that said, the main objective of this resource collection is to build nutrition vocabulary. I start with the basics and then work to introduce more words over time. It may take repeated exposure to ultimately keep each word in their daily vocabulary menus. Adults need to be persistent, patient, and good role models.

Finally, I’m using a vocabulary instructional model created by Robert J. Marzano. His 6-step process for teaching vocabulary is easy to understand, based on research (like MyPlate is), and provides a strong structure to the resources I’m building. For a summary of this process you can read this short article by Marzano.

Please enjoy the resources provided on this page. As always, I’m happy to read and respond to your comments and questions. I’ll be adding new resources regularly and am working on an online nutrition education professional development course for a more in-depth look at how to use MyPlate Nutrition Education Resources in your classes.

Elementary ResourcesSecondary Resources
Food Group Decoders
Level 1: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
Level 2: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
MyPlate Social Media Profile
Level 3: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
Food Group Find-It
Level 1: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
Level 2: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
Recipe Scavenger Hunt
Level 3: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
Build a Balanced Meal
Level 1: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
Level 2: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
Build Balanced Meals
Level 3: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
Food Group Puzzles
Level 1: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
Food Group Pizza Goals
Level 2 & 3: Google Slides, PDF File, PPT
[On YouTube]
MyPlate VocabularyMyPlate Vocabulary

Note on Google Slides: The links force you to create a copy of each resource in your own Google Drive. This allows me to keep each resource in its original format. If you’re having trouble, you may need to login to your Google Account (or create an account).

1 thought on “MyPlate Nutrition Education Resources”

  1. These activities are so perfect right now. The Google Slides made it super simple for distance learning. We did the decoder activity today and the kids LOVED it! Thank you!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s