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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, is the last of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It demonstrates that variety, balance, and moderation in overall food choices are essential for human health, growth, and energy. The amounts of specific nutrients recommended for healthy people depend on age, gender, heredity, and—for females—pregnancy and lactation. Energy recommendations—measured in calories—are set for age, gender, and physical activity level. Basal metabolic rate and body efficiency also impact energy needs. Food-guidance systems (e.g., MyPyramid) and nutrition information on food labels are founded in science-based evidence for nutrient and energy intake (e.g., Dietary Reference Intakes) and science-based dietary guidelines (e.g., Dietary Guidelines for Americans), and help people apply these recommendations to their daily food and lifestyle decisions. The food choices individuals make affect their nutritional status, and are influenced by personal, hereditary and social factors, as well as by individuals’ understanding of biological consequences.
This NSTA Science Object is a great resource for teachers that would like to create a unit on healthy lifestyle, but have no idea where to start. The resource provides teachers with a crash course in healthy living, utilizing various sources and quizzes. Also, information is provided on the different factors that affect an individual's wellbeing (caloric needs, factors influencing food choices, guides on healthy living, etc.). I believe most of the content is for upper elementary (3-5) but can be differentiated for lower elementary (K-2) as well.
A unit on healthy lifestyle choices is something that all teachers should attempt to include within their curriculum, especially at the elementary level. If students can build a strong foundation in healthy living, then there may be more hope for our students to live a life without chronic disease, illness, or pain. As elementary teachers, we have the opportunity to provide this foundation.
A lot of school districts today do not offer students health class anymore. I think teachers should teach at least on unit on making healthy choices a year. Students should be informed about the effects of some of the foods they put in their body. This article gave a lot of helpful information that educators can use to go over some of these topics with their students.
Anisa (Dayton, OH)
The food guidance systems (MyPyramid) are a great way to teach students about the importance of eating healthy. Eating the right food is the key to having a healthy balanced lifestyle. Learning this information early will help students in their adult life. Eating health starts early and some students are not taught how to cook and eat healthy. Some food choices are affected by family cultures and social status. As the student get older they will began to learn how to eat and cook healthy. One thing that is left out of a healthy lifestyle is exercise. Some families are too busy to add exercise to their time schedule.
This was a useful document and lesson for teachers to help students learn to make better decisions about nutrition.
Rachel Hooten (Kilgore, TX)
This science object really influenced the snack choices I made while reviewing! :)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)
I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Nutrition: What Choices Lead to a Healthy Lifestyle? Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only will they enrich my teaching, the knowledge will enrich my life.
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)
What choices lead to a healthy lifestyle is always a question that is ask of me. Many individuals knowing the I am a running coach and at one time was a very good runner ask me how I could be so thin. In this reading it really goes in depth about how we can live healthy and that there is more to it than just eating right.
It gives us how much children, 1hr and adults,2hrs. 30mins a week of moderate activity. The toughest thing is the motivation of getting out the door or inside for physical activity. But knowing or at least being aware of the having future problems will hopefully motivate us enough to be a little more active. I like the Old saying of "you are what you eat". People have to understand and see that they are consuming more calories than our body use causing weight gain if not active. We need to not over do our calorie consumption.
Its okay to eat a candy bar and even have a burger and fries every now and then but we need to plan when is the proper time and to eat in moderation.
For guidance to keep at a healthy weight there are a lot of resources we can look into. There are plans that show how many calories we need to be at according to activity level, weight, and age.
I chose this science object because I am about to introduce our new theme in my classroom "Growing and Changing". In this theme I want to discuss with my students how they grow and change and how nutrition affects this. This was a great way to get some ideas about how to present the information. Teaching young students how to eat healthy foods and exercise may seem like a simple task to plan but the science object broke this broad topic down into many different topics that can be presented over the course of an entire theme, which is usually a month in my class. I also like how there are more choices to think about than just what to eat. There were a couple of topics that I would have to think about more carefully in how I would present them to a younger crowd, such as some of the hormone information and the specific way in which scientists can analyze food. I think that these basic concepts can be taught to a Kindergarten aged group but in a more simplified way. However, I do think that older grade level teachers could utilize the entire lot of information in this object. I liked the varying activities as opposed to just reading and I also liked how the quizzes were spaced. Great lesson and very helpful.
Leah Lawrence (Thoreau, NM)
This Sci-Object was a good refresher of knowledge about nutrition that I have picked up over the years. I liked the connection to mypyramid.org This is a good resource for anyone looking for an introduction to leading a healthy lifestyle from a nutrition standpoint.
Christopher (Vanderwagen, NM)
Liked this one...good to use with students...
I really like how this teaches kids the importance of eating healthy.
This science object was helpful to get a better understanding of how to make wiser choices in regard to nutrition and health. It started with basics about nutritional facts and keywords then to resources such as www.choosemyplate.org to help find proper food intake. The lesson also explained other factors that lead to a healthy lifestyle like physical activity, geography, culture, climate, among other things.
The information covered in this lesson could be used in a classroom to help the students learn more about nutrition and health. There is a lot of information but you can take away the main ideas or give the students great resources to start thinking about how to live a healthy life.
I would really like to incorporate more lessons on the benefits of a healthier eating life style and a active life style. I want to make the students aware that this could make a difference in their lives as far as living longer, at lower risk of health problems and reflecting on their families as well as their communities.
A very thorough description of what and how much we should eat. I was a little disappointed with how much the article relied on The Food Pyramid. The Food Pyramid is a very controversial subject. Not only has it been revised due to much lobbying from the meat, dairy, and egg industry, but the USDA has been criticized for placing individuals with direct financial ties to those major industries on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The article also did not dive into what we should eat in terms of sustainable food systems which in turn lead to a healthier body. I was recommended to go to mypyramid.org where I was given the tip of the week that said, "Irradiated meat is just as healthy, if not healthier than organic meat -- radiation kills bacteria just as effectively as it does people, and saves billions of dollars that would otherwise have to go toward producing cleaner meat and maintaining the health of livestock." Although this quote is not directly from the Science Object, the Science Object referred me to the website and therefore I relate the two. I feel that the Nutrtion SciPack could add another Science Object that could teach how sustainable and organic foods have a positive effect on our environment, society, and bodies as opposed to mass produced foods that degrade our environment and bodies.