Shifting to a healthier eating pattern is — hands down — a great idea.
After all, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans assert, “most Americans urgently need to shift intakes to achieve […] healthy eating patterns.” MyPlate echoes this advice, urging people to “Focus on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy […] Make small changes to create a healthier eating style.”
That’s why this month’s display is all about encouraging manageable shifts to improve eating patterns.
You may remember the myriad displays of the month leading up to this point, and I have to confess that this one is one of my very favorites. If you’d like to catch up before proceeding to the newest edition, simply follow the links below…
And now for the new stuff! Here’s a guide to everything you need to put together July’s Display of the Month…
- Banner and Stand: Change It Up or Healthier Choices 1-2-3 or both!
- On Your Table: Healthier Choices 1-2-3 Poster on a Tabletop Easel arranged behind some Make Healthy Choices a Snap Handout (this handout is now free — get a preview at the end of this post).
- Prizes: Change It Up Bookmarks and Butterfly Stickers
- In Front of Your Table: Change It Up Banner
- Game: Make the Shift!
- Discussion: What Makes Eating Pattern Shifts Sustainable?
Start by setting up your space. Grab a big table and hang the Change It Up Banner in front of it. On top of the table, arrange a Healthier Choices 1-2-3 Poster on a Tabletop Easel, flanked by some Make Healthy Choices a Snap Handouts. Circle the whole thing with your prizes — a mix of Change It Up Bookmarks and Butterfly Stickers. Now, where do you have a little extra space? Where else would you like to draw the eye? Wherever that is, set up your banner: Change It Up or Healthier Choices 1-2-3 or both!
Survey your arrangement. What works? What doesn’t? Adjust accordingly, then get ready for your participants to arrive.
For the Make the Shift! Game, write down some common meals and snack foods that aren’t ideal for good health. On the back of each card, draft a few ideas for ways to shift that food/meal into a healthier element of a balanced eating pattern. Check out MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for some inspiration.
Once your participants arrive, announce the game and offer prizes for fantastic answers. Decide whether you’re going to have people play individually or in teams, then hold up your first card. What isn’t healthy about that meal/food? What can people do to help shift it into a healthier choice? How sustainable is that shift? Offer extra points for creativity. Once you’ve run out of cards, tally points and award prizes to the winners (alternatively, you can toss out prizes for participation and engagement as everyone plays the game).
For your discussion of What Makes Eating Pattern Shifts Sustainable? simply pose the question to the group. What kind of changes are easier to sustain over time? Why? Which are unsustainable? Why? What have people had success with in the past? What stumbling blocks have they overcome?
Oh, and here’s the free printable Make Healthy Choices a Snap handout for your display too!
Before we end this post, don’t miss these other great resources for eating pattern shifts…
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