Display of the Month: Sugar Math

It’s time for a brand-new Display of the Month!

This month, I want to feature Sugar Math: an engaging and memorable way to teach valuable lessons about added sugars and good health.

Let’s dive right in!

The Materials:

The Activities:

August Sugar Math

The Details:

Set up your space as pictured above, adjusting your arrangements to fit the activities you’ve chosen and the space provided.

For the Sugar Quiz, pose the following questions to your group. You can divide them into teams and track points to declare a winner at the end or simply address volunteers individually. Don’t forget to offer Water WristbandsStickers, and Bookmarks as prizes for correct answers or for the winning team.

  1. True or false: A healthy diet should include no more than 10% of its calories from added sugars. (true)
  2. How many calories per day is the upper limit for added sugars for the average person? (200)
  3. And what is that in grams of sugar? (50)
  4. Where can you find added sugars? (on the new nutrition facts label, or point to the general list of sugars in a food and explore how to intuit how much of those sugars is added)
  5. Roughly how many teaspoons of sugar make up the average upper limit for daily added sugar intake? (12)

August Sugar Math Interactive

Now let’s talk about the Yogurt and Added Sugar Measurements Activity. You may need to rearrange your table for this one.

Gather your group around the table and hold up a clean, empty container that was once used to hold yogurt. Ask everyone how much sugar they think was in that container. Take guesses (if people are shy at first, use prizes like the Water WristbandsStickers, and Bookmarks as motivation for contributing), then show them where to find the answer on the label. Hold up a few more containers and repeat the process.

Pick a container of yogurt and have people use a teaspoon to measure out how much sugar is in that container (provide a dish of refined sugar and a few spoons for this purpose) assembling it all in a clear zip-top baggie. You can also use these amazing Sugar Test Tubes.

Do the same thing with the other containers of yogurt, discussing their findings as they go. How much sugar is in that yogurt? How much of it appears to be added sugar? Why?

If you have the resources, a Sugar Presentation is also a fun way to make lessons about added sugars more memorable. Cue up a projector (or your laptop) to show either the Added Sugars DVD or Sugar Scoop PowerPoint, or both! The PowerPoint comes with additional handouts, which you can distribute after the presentation.

Other Display Ideas:

Here is a collection of the past displays of the month. Which will make an appearance at your next health or wellness fair?

And here are some fantastic sugar resources, fresh from the Nutrition Education Store!

Display of the Month: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, so what better time is there to celebrate the joys of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables? This month’s display will help you do just that, without having to burn the midnight oil.

The Materials:

The Activities:

  • Game: Name That Fruit or Vegetable
  • Brainstorming Session: Incorporating Variety into Your Meals

The Details:

To set up your space, first arrange your table with the Color Your World with Food Banner hanging along the front. Flanking it to one side, add the You Need Fuel: Choose Wisely Banner and Stand. To balance it, set up your brainstorming space on the other side of the table. Arrange the Fruit and Vegetable Balloons behind the table. Now top the table with the I Heart Fruits and Vegetables Poster on a Tabletop Easel and arrange some of the Fruit and Vegetable Handouts out in front of it. Line up your prizes (Fruit and Vegetable Pens and Fruit and Vegetable Stickers) at the front of your table, then take a step back and evaluate. How does the display look? Make any necessary shifts, then get ready for your activities.

Display of the month

For the Name That Fruit or Vegetable Game assemble a collection of facts and trivia about common fruits and vegetables. Food and Health’s blog has a few pages of great resources for this game, and the Name That Fruit and Veggie PowerPoint Slideshow is full of fruit and veggie facts as well. Consider the following examples as inspiration for your own collection.

  • This guitar-shaped squash is rich in alpha carotene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer (butternut).
  • These tart citrus fruits contain limonin, a cancer-fighting compound that is good for your health (lemons).
  • These starchy veggies are fat-free sources of vitamin E (yams).
  • This tree-like veggie is part of the cabbage family (broccoli).

Once you’ve assembled your facts and trivia (note: this should be before the fair), collect a group of people at your booth to compete for the prizes you’ve displayed. Present each fun fact and let people guess what fruit or vegetable matches it. Offer correct answers and prizes as you go, or have people track their successes and declare a winner at the end of the game.

After the game, turn to brainstorming. Grab your marker and a spot within reach of the brainstorming space, then ask people to discuss the fruits and vegetables they commonly eat. Do they get enough? Review the recommendations set forward by MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, then return to the main topic. How can people incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their meals? How can they build up the variety of fruits and veggies they eat in a week? Offer the remaining prizes for participation, handing them out as volunteers call out suggestions.

Additional Resources:

There are lots of other fruit and vegetable resources that would be perfect for this display, or for another Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month activity. Why not try…

And for more inspiration, check out the previous editions of the Display of the Month series…

Here’s the free printable Fruit and Vegetable Handout for your display!

Fruit and Vegetable Handout

And finally, last but not least, here are some essentials for your Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month celebration…

Display of the Month: Nutrition Month

It’s National Nutrition Month, and to celebrate, I couldn’t resist making a Nutrition Month display for the Nutrition Education Store’s March Display of the Month! Can you blame me? Here’s what you need to make your own display…

Display for Nutrition MonthThe Materials:

The Activities:

  • Nutrition Month ABCs
  • Brainstorming: Ways to Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

The Details:

To set up your booth, grab a table and drape the front with the Nutrition Month Banner. Top it with the posters you like best from the Quality Nutrition Poster Set. They’re all great for Nutrition Month, but I especially like the Wise Choices and Portion Control posters for this particular display. Put each poster on a Tabletop Easel in order to make it easy to see. Intersperse the educational posters with some Nutrition from A to Z Handouts and MyPlate Brochure Cards, then line the front of your table with Nutrition Month Bookmarks and Nutrition Month Stickers. Toss a whiteboard up on a stand near your display and grab a few dry erase markers if you’re going to do the activities outlined below.

Display and ActivitiesFor the Nutrition Month ABCs activity, ask people to think up words that start with each letter of the alphabet, focusing on key health and nutrition information. For example, the letter “A” could feature words like “antioxidants,” “activity,” “anthocyanins,” and even “vitamin A” if the group is flexible. Discuss each word as it is offered and give prizes to the people who choose to participate. Pass out copies of the Nutrition from A to Z Handout to conclude the activity.

When it comes the the second activity, Brainstorming Ways to Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, your white board can come in handy again. Discuss this year’s theme for Nutrition Month. What are some healthy ways that people can follow that theme and “savor the flavor of eating right” in a manner that is balanced and fun? Record people’s answers on your whiteboard. If they need inspiration, point them to the MyPlate Brochure Cards and Nutrition Posters in your display.

Additional Resources:

If you’re looking for even more materials that you can use for Nutrition Month, don’t miss these additional nutrition education resources…

And here’s another installment of my free printable nutrition education materials — a PDF handout that covers the basics of nutrition

Nutrition Basics for Nutrition Month

More Displays of the Month:

Finally, here are some other fun materials from the Nutrition Education Store!

10,000 Steps Floor Sticker

Digital MyPlate Poster and Resource Collection

MyPlate Stress Relief Coloring Book

Display of the Month: Beverage Better

Set Up Your DisplayIt’s time for another edition of the Nutrition Education Store’s Display of the Month series! This time, we’re going to focus on drinks! Are you ready to help your clients “Beverage Better”?

The Materials:

The Activities:

  • Drink Makeovers and Trivia Game
  • Brainstorm Better Beverages

And now it’s time to discuss the details!

Cover your table with a tablecloth if you have one. Arrange the Don’t Drink Your Calories poster on the stand on the table, then place some Beverage Better handouts in front of or next to it. Put some water bookmarks and stickers next to the handouts, and put some sugar test tubes on their other side. Set up the Beverage Better banner and stand next to your table and, if you’re playing the trivia game outlined below, cover the calorie savings information with some colorful Post-It notes.

Check Out This DisplayFor the first activity, walk your audience through the makeovers outlined on the Beverage Better banner. Start with hot cocoa, and after you’ve outlined the changes people can make to turn it into a more healthful drink, ask if anyone knows roughly how many calories those adjustments would save. Take guesses, then reveal the answer by removing the Post-It note that had covered that information. Award prizes (bookmarks, stickers) to the person who had a guess that was closest to the actual total. Now use the sugar test tubes to simulate how much sugar was in the drink before and after the makeover. Poll the group — was this lower or higher than they were expecting? Why? Do the same with the tea and soda.

For the second activity, gather your participants into a small group and brainstorm healthful drinks. How can the information on the handouts, poster, and banner inform the discussion? Explore possibilities with seltzer water, fresh fruit, tea, coffee, herbs, spices, etc. Award prizes to people who offer healthful suggestions.

Additional Resources:

Here are a few more materials that you can incorporate into your display and discussion…

Here’s a free PDF handout that discusses ways to sweeten drinks without adding sugar…

SweetenDrinks

More Displays of the Month:

And finally, here are some other fun posters from the Nutrition Education Store!

Eat from the Rainbow Poster

Nutrition Poster Set

Change It Up Poster

Display of the Month: Portion Control

Portion Control Table
The Nutrition Education Store Display of the Month fun continues this month with a spotlight on portion control!

Portion control is vital, and so many of my health educator friends say that it is near and dear to their hearts. Proper portion control can have far-reaching health effects, but it’s tougher than it appears at first glance. With all the oversized portions crowding coffee shop displays and restaurant plates, how are people even supposed to know what a healthful portion looks like?

That’s where a Portion Control Display comes in.

I’ve studied and studied the resources at my disposal, and I think the following plan would make a great portion control display for your next event…

The Materials:

The Activities:

  • Walk everyone through some meal and snack transformations.
  • Strategize about ways to scale down portions.

Portion Control TableLet’s talk details!

Set up your display area with a table. Top it with a tablecloth if you have one. Put the easel on the table, then place the Scale Down Your Portions poster on top of the easel and make sure that it’s easy to see. Place the Take Control of Your Portions banner on its stand in a highly-visible spot next to your table. Fan out a few Portion Control brochures near the front of your table, where they’ll be easier to grab. At another free area in the front of your table, arrange some MyPlate Temporary Tattoos and some Salad Temporary Tattoos. These will serve as prizes for the activities.

And speaking of activities, here’s what you’ll need to do.

For the meal transformation section, use a bit of blue painter’s tape and some plain white paper to cover the “made over” meals on the Take Control of Your Portions banner. Review the number of calories in the large value meal featured on the poster. Is this a healthful meal? Why or why not? Ask volunteers to brainstorm ways to “make over” the meal to make it more balanced and less calorically-dense. Offer temporary tattoos to anyone who shares a good answer. Remove the painter’s tape and paper from the “made over” meal on the banner. How does this one differ from the first meal? How can it be replicated in real life? Repeat the process with the chip and muffin images on the banner.

The second activity is more free form.

Have some volunteers share a few foods with which they have trouble controlling portions. Brainstorm as a group — what’s a good way to bring the portions back under control? You can also share strategies from some of the many portion control blog posts we’ve written over the years — here are a few of the current favorites…

And there you have it! Another fun display idea for the the Nutrition Education Store Display of the Month series.

And here are a few more display resources from the Nutrition Education Store. Which ones will make your life easier?

Display Kit: Color Your World with Food

Display Kit: Take 10K Steps Each Day

Display Kit: Make Your Salad a Rainbow

PS Here’s a free PDF handout (from the blog post 3 Ways to Improve Portion Control) that you can also use in your display…

New Portion Control Ideas

What Do You Know About Banners?

Have you ever used a banner as an educational tool?

Portion Control BannerIt turns out that banners are perfect for health fairs, presentations, displays, cafeteria decorations, classroom adornment, and more. The key is in how you use them.

So that’s why I ask — what do you know about banners?

Banners are vital to visual learning, one of the three learning types outlined by the Fleming VAK/VARK model. Can you think of the other learning types?

They’re kinesthetic (learning by doing) and auditory (learning by hearing).

But let’s get back to visual learning. Visual learning happens when a person engages with concepts, data, and ideas through visual tools like images. Displays, posters, charts, graphs, and other illustrations of key concepts all appeal to visual learners.

MyPlate BannerSince many studies indicate that a holistic approach to various learning styles is often the most effective (offering auditory, kinesthetic, and visual resources together), visual resources can play a key role in any educational endeavor.

So, how do people incorporate these visual resources?

The most common ways that health educators use visuals like banners in the workplace are in either health fairs or cafeteria decorations. The latter offers a chance to brighten up dull cafeteria walls while reinforcing nutrition and health lessons when they can be the most useful. The former, in health fairs, provides a way to draw people to their booths. Once they’re there, people can try sample foods, read handouts, and learn the lessons that the presenters want to offer.

Whole Grain BannerIn terms of health education, banners make great visual aids — illustrating key concepts and distilling information down to the most important bits. They’re perfect for presentations, health fairs, office decoration, and displays.

How do you use visuals?

We’ve been hard at work on brand-new banners to help make you look your very best, right now. There are three kinds of banners that you can get — banners with standsposter-style banners, and wall clings. Banners with stands are perfectly portable and can be placed wherever you need them, whenever you need them. Poster-style banners can be hung on the wall or incorporated into a bulletin board or other display. Wall clings do exactly what it sounds like they do — stick to any wall, any time. Here are some of our top-selling banners!

Physical Activity Promotional Banner

Fruit and Vegetable Banner with Stand

3 Steps to Good Health Banner

Oh, and before I forget, have you seen the inside look at how the materials in the Nutrition Education Store are packaged and shipped? It’s pretty neat — check it out!

And here’s a free handout! It accompanies one of our banners — can you guess which one?

Start Slow, Keep Steady

Thanks for scrolling! Here’s a special discount code — just for you. Use MYPLATE to get 10% off your next order!

Wellness Fair Success: The Story of a Banner

Want to hear a story?

Change It Up Health Fair BannerThis one is all about wellness fairs, health education, weight management, and custom posters. Intrigued? I thought so.

It all started with Kisha Bowden, a supervisor at the Parker Hannifin Corporation. Parker Hannifin is having a wellness fair for all its employees in order to kick off a weight-loss contest, and Kisha needed some banners to pep up her booth.

After an in-depth look at the Nutrition Education Store and some soul searching, Kisha chose the following banners on banner stands…

Once those were ordered, Kisha changed her focus to accessories and prizes. The 10K Steps wristbands offered a daily reminder and compelling message, so Kisha added them to her cart.

10,000 Steps WristbandsThat would be a great story of wellness fair decorations and balance, but it doesn’t stop there, because the next thing Kisha did was get inspired.

Since the wellness fair promotes a weight loss contest that runs from now to June, Kisha decided to have us create a custom banner for her employees, adding their names and offering inspiration that was designed to fit their needs. I loved her idea, so my team and I started in on possible designs right away.

We were on fire! From the time that Kisha emailed me to the time the order was set up and processed, less than one whole day had passed. We worked together to create a brand-new poster for her team, and Kisha liked it so much that she ordered custom bracelets too! All of these amazing treats will be on their way to Kisha soon, arriving only 6 days after she first visited the store.

Poster: Stand Up For YouI love projects like these! It makes me so happy to be able to make your jobs easier and to create exciting new resources that promote health and wellness. If you’d like a customized poster or bracelet set of your very own, all you need to do is ask! We are here when you want to look your very best right now.

And, in the meantime, I want to remind you about all the free resources my team and I have created for health educators. Here is a rundown of a few of my favorites — which ones are most useful to you?

Plus, we are always creating new products and resources. If you have anything you’d especially like to see, just let me know!

And here are some other wellness fair resources, perfect for health fairs, presentations, and more!

Fruit and Vegetable Banner and Stand

Wellness Fair Kit

Fruit and Vegetable Pens