We all know that healthy students are better learners. Healthy habits continue to pay off over the long term as kids grow up.
Our new Healthy Habit Wheel poster features habits in three categories — lifestyle, diet, and exercise — all centered on the Dietary Guidelines and the Physical Activity Guidelines.
Here are some ways to use the Healthy Habit Wheel with students in the classroom:
Healthy Habit of the Week: The class works on one habit per week. Start the week off with a brainstorm session on how to achieve the habit. End the week with students reporting on how they did.
Healthy Habit Thought Box: On a slip of paper, students write a sentence or two telling how they practiced a healthy habit (like drinking water at lunch instead of soda), then put it in a special box or basket. When the teacher has a few extra minutes during the day, they can pull out some entries to share with the class.
Healthy Habit Inventory: Have students check off the habits they already do. Then they can design their own wheel with the habits they need to work on.
Healthy Habit Journal: Students have a special notebook or document where they write about their journey around the Healthy Habit Wheel.
Healthy Habit Expo: Break students up into small groups. Each group researches a habit, then presents their findings to the rest of the class.
Have you seen our Salad Mandalas? Yes, you read that right – but you have to see it to believe it, so take a look at the bottom of this page and then read on!
We know you’ll love these beautiful works of art as much as we do! Eye-catching and discussion-generating, they will brighten up any area and remind people to eat their fruits and vegetables every day.
Not sure what to do with our Salad Mandalas? Whether you choose the floor or wall decal, they’ll stick to most clean, smooth surfaces and are removable. Here are some ideas on where to put them:
In a hospital… A Salad Mandala on the floor or wall is the perfect way to identify dietitians’ offices, the nutrition department, kitchen, or cafeteria – wherever you want people to know that healthy eating is a priority here!
In a nursing home… Hang one up the dining area or other common room where residents and visitors can enjoy the beautiful colors.
In a school… Students and staff will get a kick out of seeing Salad Mandalas on the wall or floor of the cafeteria or gym, the nurse’s office, food service director’s office, health classrooms, and hallways.
In a fitness center… Brighten up the locker rooms or aerobics studio.
In a doctor’s office… Patients will appreciate having something unique to look at while they wait, making the Salad Mandala a good choice for exam rooms.
In a library… Use one as part of a display for nutrition month in March, salad month in May, or farmer’s market week in August, along with selected cookbooks or children’s books that feature fruits and veggies.
At a health fair… Attract a crowd with the Salad Mandala decal – on the floor in front of your booth or on the wall behind it.
In a vending machine area… Remind everyone about the healthiest snacks of all!
And here are some activities to go with our Salad Mandala decals:
Preschool/early elementary class… Use the Salad Mandala to teach colors, practice counting, or learn the names of fruits and vegetables. Have a special Salad Mandala Snack – everyone can make their own mandala on a paper plate with cut up fruits and veggies.
Caught eating healthy… Put the Salad Mandala on a wall in the school cafeteria. Ask parent volunteers to come in during lunchtime once a week to snap pictures of kids who are eating a fruit or vegetable that day. Then post the pictures around the mandala. Watch the circle grow bigger every week!
Salad day selfies… Let adults in on the fun in your workplace or hospital cafeteria! Build a salad from the salad bar, then take a selfie in front of the Salad Mandala decal and post it to your social media page.
Salad Mandala search… Put the mandala in a different classroom, hallway, office, or other location every week to generate interest.
Be sure to let us know what YOU do with our Salad Mandala decals!
School’s out for summer, but kids can’t afford to take a break from healthy eating and staying active. Remind them to be active for 60 minutes a dayandeat the MyPlate way with our MyPlate Kids and Physical Activity materials.
The MyPlate Kids Activity poster shows the many ways to get moving for 60 minutes every day, from stretching to walking the dog to playing a sport and more. There’s bound to be something that appeals to every child and inspires them to be active.
With the MyPlate graphic front and center, our materials will also remind kids to make each meal balanced, starting with plenty of high-fiber, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.
If you’re at a health fair, in the classroom, or anywhere with kids, try one of these activities to get them moving, having fun, and learning:
Put a colored dot on one side of small index cards, using the MyPlate colors (red, orange, green, purple, and blue). Turn the cards over so no one can see the colored dots. Let kids pick an index card to see what color they got. Then ask a series of questions, depending on their age and how much time you have. For example, if they pick red:
What foods are in the red group? Answer: Fruit.
What is your favorite fruit? Answer: Apples.
What does the word apple start with? Answer: A.
“Pretend your finger is a pencil and draw a huge A in the air.”
For older kids, do the above activity, but have them “spell” out the whole name of the food. For fun, change it up – “pretend your foot/elbow/nose/knee is a pencil and draw a huge A in the air.”
Write a variety of activities on index cards (different sports, running, jumping rope, hopping on one foot, etc). Each child picks an index card and does that activity in place (pretend to swing a bat, throw a ball, hop, etc).