Free K-8 nutrition curriculum also builds healthy eating habits.
Source: Dairy Council of California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Educators and administrators concerned about student health and implementing Common Core State Standards have a new K-8 curriculum solution with the launch of Dairy Council of California’s "Building a Healthy Me!" nutrition program for kindergarten.
Available free to educators in California as the dairy industry’s contribution to community health, Dairy Council of California nutrition education lesson plans align to USDA Dietary Guidelines and include practicing and applying Common Core State Standards. Designed with busy teachers in mind, these nutrition education programs are a simple, no-cost way schools can ease into teaching Common Core State Standards.
Building a Healthy Me! for kindergarten includes eight units with four activities in each unit and features a farm-to-school agricultural component to bring students more in touch with the origins of their food. Building a Healthy Me! introduces students to the concept of food groups, how to select healthy snacks made up of food-group foods and the importance of breakfast as a healthy start to each day. This strong nutrition foundation for healthy eating habits can be built upon sequentially with each of Dairy Council of California’s grade-level nutrition education programs.
Approximately 75 percent of elementary schools in California have at least one teacher who utilizes Dairy Council of California nutrition programs. More than 1,100 California elementary schools commit to teaching Dairy Council of California nutrition programs at every grade level.
"Including nutrition education in the classroom helps students increase their academic achievement, feed their minds and improve their health," said Debbie Asada, Director of Program Services for Dairy Council of California. "Each of the grade-specific K-8 nutrition programs is designed to improve students’ healthy eating knowledge and skills while also helping students change their behaviors to create lifelong healthy habits."
Every Dairy Council of California nutrition program teaches the importance of breakfast for academic achievement and offers individualized and actionable advice for students and parents based on recommendations from USDA’s MyPlate and Dietary Guidelines. Furthermore, each program instills the importance of eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains as well as why consuming milk and milk products is essential to a healthy diet.
According to evaluations with teachers and their students, those who complete various Dairy Council of California nutrition programs show increased knowledge of the food groups, report choosing more nutrient-rich foods, tend to consume fewer extra foods and non-nutritive beverages and even increase their physical activity or decrease their screen time.
"These positive effects are multiplied when students complete sequential Dairy Council of California nutrition programs as they advance through school," said Asada. "When the benefits to students are coupled with the practical application of the Common Core State Standards, Dairy Council of California nutrition education materials are a common sense solution to building healthy eating habits and academic achievement."
Educators, administrators and parents interested in learning more about Building a Healthy Me! and other Dairy Council of California nutrition education programs should visit www.HealthyEating.org/Schools today.
Dairy Council of California serves as the dairy industry’s contribution to community health by providing a science-based nutrition education curriculum and resources that help children and families improve their eating habits and make nutrient-rich choices from all the food groups. For nearly a century, Dairy Council of California has partnered with schools, health professionals and community leaders to offer families simple steps for making balanced food choices while communicating the irreplaceable role that milk and milk products play in a balanced diet. Funded by California’s dairy farmers and milk processors, Dairy Council of California’s nutrition resources reach millions in California and throughout the United States. Find us at HealthyEating.org.