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Preventive Health Care for Young Children with Disabilities: Teaching Nutrition

From our electronic filing cabinet

Start with the basics - the food pyramid. Click here to print out a color poster for your classroom from the USDA.

Click here for a visual aid used by the teacher in explaining the food pyramid.

Click here for a sheet to color of the food pyramid. While we have heard some early childhood educators argue against coloring as an activity, we disagree. It builds fine motor coordination and teaches children about color. This copy of the My Pyramid for Kids is useful for part of a lesson on eating healthy. The teacher would use the color poster above to point out and discuss different types of healthy foods and then the children color their own poster drawing in the foods they like to eat.

For older children (5-8), you may wish to use the food pyramid worksheet. You can work with children to complete the worksheet themselves and also use it in discussion of food and activity choices. This is not just a preventive health or nutrition exercise, but is also the beginning of an understand for science for young children, how the body works.

An absolute wealth of resources can be found at the USDA website, and we are not just saying in this because we received funding from them. The Team Nutrition website has an incredible resource library where you can find almost everything you need for teaching about nutrition and physical activity. We especially recommend the Nibbles for Health newsletters for child care providers. If you don't have Internet access and are reading this on our CD-ROM, click here for two examples, "Being active in cold weather" and "Active living for families".

Idea to take back to your classroom: A cost-effective and worthwhile staff workshop could be an afternoon spent on the USDA Team Nutrition site. They have hundreds of pages of lesson plans, newsletters, posters and worksheets you could download. Each classroom teacher could select a topic, such as the Food Pyramid, getting enough vitamins and minerals, physical activity, and create a high quality lesson with attractive materials for the children just from what is on this site.
red arrow pointing right Not now! We said when you get back to your classroom! Click here to go to the next page on preventive health for children with disabilities.

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
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