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Nutrition

Every day, it seems, scientists discover new information about nutrition and the effects of different food on the human body. Help keep kids up-to-date on the latest nutritional information with regular visits to some of the Web sites below. Included: More than a dozen sites for teaching and learning about proper nutrition.

Childhood obesity has become a major concern in the United States, a concern not just of healthcare providers, but of teachers and parents as well. Inundated with diet plans and nutritional advice, even adults can have difficulty sorting the wheat from the chaff -- or the milk from the ice cream. For kids, whose nutritional needs are different than those of adults, the task can seem nearly impossible. The nutrition sites below will help both you and your students make the best food decisions to keep their bodies strong and healthy.

Nutrition Explorations
Nutrition Explorations provides teachers, food-service professionals, and parents with information and resources about nutrition, the Food Guide Pyramid, and healthful eating. The site includes lesson plans and activities are for grades K-4, as well as tips to help parents balance good nutrition and a busy family schedule.

Dole 5 A Day
The interactive Kid's section of this site makes nutrition fun, with songs and videos that encourage students to eat fruits and vegetables. The Teacher section includes cross-curricular lesson plans, curriculum standards, background information, suggestions for using the kids' pages, and much more.

The Plastic Fork Diaries
The Plastic Fork Diaries engages and educates kids about such issues as food history, preparation, and nutritional value through an ongoing tale of lunch and life at a mythical middle school. Discussion questions, food surveys and activities to accompany this Maryland Public Television production are provided in a downloadable activity guide.

BAM!
BAM!, developed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), is designed to be a complete health-information resource for kids. Topics include fitness, smoking, dealing with peer pressure, and much more. Click Fit4Life and U Are What U Eat to find information about proper nutrition, including tips for healthful eating and packing safe and healthful lunches. Recipes for cool treats also are included. Pre-assessment activities, lesson plans, and activity guides are provided for teachers.

Sports and Nutrition: A Winning Combination
This site from the University of Illinois is designed to help students understand how sports participation increases their food energy needs. Sections of the site discuss how diet affects performance, as well as the dangers of not following good nutritional guidelines. Included are recommended training table diets, questions from young athletes, tips for eating right, a planner for making wise food choices, and more.

ALSO WORTH A LOOK

  • Fast Food Choices: You Are What You Eat WebQuest
  • Fast Food Facts
  • Nutrition for Kids
  • Staying Healthy: Fabulous Food
    For even more great sites, visit Education World's Site Reviews Archives.