Nutrition Month Activity Idea

Yes, I know that Nutrition Month is drawing to a close, but I couldn’t resist sharing one last activity idea to promote good health. Plus, this activity doesn’t have to be limited to March — use it anytime you want to teach a nutrition lesson!

I planned this activity around the topics in the Nutrition at a Glance Poster so that you could help your audience internalize 3 keys to balanced nutrition. If you don’t have the poster, no sweat! Just address the topics with your class before you begin the activity.

Divide everyone into three groups and assign one of the three topics on the poster to each group:

  • Let Macronutrients Put Their Best Food Forward
  • Get Your Vitamins and Minerals from Food
  • Avoid Extra Processed Food Dangers by Reading Food Labels

Explain that each group is going to come up with 5 Jeopardy-style pairs of questions and answers about their assigned topic. If computers or smartphones are available, let the students use those to research fun facts and key points to address in their questions.

As the groups work, circulate around the room addressing any issues they might have and reviewing their question and answer pairs to make sure that they’re both accurate and answerable.

Once all the groups have their 5 questions, reconvene the class. Have the macronutrients group present their questions to the vitamins and minerals group, then have the vitamins and minerals group present their questions to the food label group. Finally, the food label group can present their questions to the macronutrients group. With this system, each group can engage deeply with 2 of the 3 topics on the poster.

As the teams are competing, keep score so that you can announce a winner at the end of the activity.

And what’s a good activity without a few prizes to motivate and reward your audience? Here are some of my favorites for Nutrition Month!

And for other great activities, don’t miss these fun posts…

Finally, what would Nutrition Month be without a little decoration? Check out these amazing materials…

Nutrition Month Display Ideas

It’s not too late to set up an engaging display for National Nutrition Month!

The best displays feature information in a variety of formats, presented in an eye-catching and memorable manner. Here are a few strategies that you can use to put together your best display yet…

Bulletin Board:

It’s usually a good idea to center a bulletin board around a banner or poster. For Nutrition Month, I would recommend any of the following, depending on the space you have available.

Once you’ve picked a poster/banner or two to center your display, it’s just a matter of filling in the details. One way to vary the view while imparting key information is to add a few relevant handouts, like these!

You can also print out pictures that support your main point (people being active for an exercise board, healthful foods/meals for a nutrition board etc) and fill in a few gaps with assorted stickers or wall decals.

Tabletop Display:

Tabletop displays offer a better chance for interaction than a bulletin board display, but they also take up more room.

The key to a good tabletop display is having something that will draw people to the table. Banners on stands offer a great way to stand out from the crowd, and these options are perfect for Nutrition Month:

Floor stickers are also creative (and intriguing) eye-catchers here. My personal favorites include:

Then you want to fill your table with resources that will help your audience learn and remember key Nutrition Month lessons. Posters like the ones featured in the bulletin board section above are great options, and you can prop them up on a tabletop easel or two. Handouts are useful take-home resources too, as are stickers/bookmarks/other fun prizes.

If you’re talking about sugar, salt, or fat content in your display, I’d highly recommend test tubes, which you can use to display the average amount of your featured element in a variety of foods.

These materials offer a great visual way to compare and contrast different options, and the test tubes have gotten wonderful feedback in the past. In fact, they’re one of our most popular resources for health fairs!

And there you have it! A little Nutrition Month display inspiration!

For additional resources to help with your National Nutrition Month celebrations, don’t miss these amazing materials…

Nutrition Month at the Worksite: Activity, Display, and Presentation Ideas

Want to celebrate Nutrition Month at your worksite? Check out these inspirational ideas, and let us know your plans by tweeting us @foodandhealth or writing on our Facebook wall

  • Create a Nutrition Education Display board and display it in the lobby. It’s a great resource for employees and community members who are seeking services.
  • Make Nutrition Education bulletin boards available for all clinic sites to display.
  • Set up a 5 for 5 Challenge. This challenge will encourage employees to eat at least 5 servings of fruits or vegetables every day. It can also include an exercise component, calling for everyone to exercise for at least 30 minutes on each of the 5 workdays during the week. Employees will have a tracking form to keep up with their progress towards the challenge. If they complete the form, then that person’s name will be entered into a drawing at the end of the month’s activities. Feel free to offer prizes that you think would work best for your site.
  • Have a smoothie and healthful snack taste testing week. Make healthful snacks and smoothies will available for a one hour period at your workplace. Offer recipes and supporting materials to anyone who stops by to taste test the treats. Employees that participate could also enter their names into the drawings to be held at the end of the month’s activities.
  • Hold a healthful cooking demonstration. We had success with a 1-hour nutrition education session, which included the preparation of multiple recipes to encourage healthful eating and vegetable consumption. RSVPs were be requested for the session. Employees that participated could also be entered into the drawings to be held at the end of the month’s activities.
  • At the end of the month, drawings will be held for the people that participated in at least one of the month’s activities. Drawing prizes could include the following… MyPlate magnetsa professional apronMyPlate wristbandsassorted kitchen tools, or even a cookbook. You could also work with the HR department to give work-related prizes like an extra vacation day.

By Kelly Whipker, RD, LDN

The Nutrition Education Store has everything you need for fantastic worksite wellness programs or fun Nutrition Month activities…

 

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

Reader Request: Nutrition Month Coloring Pages

You all know how much I love getting requests, right?

Here’s a fun request that made its way into my inbox a few weeks ago.

Hello, Judy!

Each year, I sponsor a “poster project” at my daughter’s school.  Students in grades pre-school thru 2nd grade are given a page to color. I use the one available from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics website, based on the year’s theme. However, they have not created a page this year.

Last year, you were able to create 2 pages.   I am wondering if you might have a page that I could print for the students to color, based on the theme, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”?

Thank you!
Mary Therese Maslanka, RDN, LDN

How could I resist?

My team and I immediately went to work, and Mary Therese Maslanka had those coloring pages in her inbox as soon as we were done.

But I didn’t want to stop there. Now that it’s National Nutrition Month, what better time to share this wonderful resource with you, dear readers?

So, without further ado, here are two great coloring pages that are based on this year’s theme: Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle. Get your copies today!

National Nutrition Month Page 1

 

National Nutrition Month 2

Looking for more fun ways to get kids involved with National Nutrition Month? Check out these fun games and prizes!

Fruit and Vegetable Pens

I Love Salad Wristbands for Kids

Change It Up Stickers

Make a Great Nutrition Month Display in 3 Stress-Free Steps

It’s Nutrition Month, which makes it a perfect time to communicate the key nutrition education messages that you’ve been dying to address. Whether you’re psyched to finally be able to discuss the role of saturated fats in heart health, excited to explain the connection between added sugars and obesity, or anything and everything in between, your time has finally come. But how can you ensure that your audience is engaged in what you’re trying to communicate? Well, that’s where Nutrition Month displays come in. Follow these simple steps and you will have put together a colorful, engaging, and informative display that actually reaches the audience you’re trying to address.

Part One: Location, Location, Location

You want to make sure that your display is in an area that both draws high traffic and promotes lingering. Though the elevator might be full of people at all hours (and they certainly are a captive audience), the time limits imposed by its speed in reaching its destination make it an unappealing place for a display. Plus, it might get a little cramped in there. By the same token, the conference room at the end of an untraveled hallway might have plenty of space but be unlikely to draw a crowd. Look instead for places that can draw a crowd and keep them there for a bit. Think the company lobby, a break room, a lunch area, etc. Of course, if you’re setting up your display at a wellness fair or nutrition show, then you’ve already got a great location and part one will be a breeze.

Part Two: The Visuals

Once you’ve got a great location, the next step is drawing people to your display. Visuals will be your “make or break” here. With a colorful, intriguing display, you can pique people’s interest and bring them over to learn more. Once they’re engaged, you can delve further into the information you’re trying to communicate. So, what kind of visuals can you use? Consider any of the following…

  • A question on a banner. You want to ask something that your audience wants to know the answer to. Skip a dull title like “saturated fats” and instead ask a question like “What are Saturated Fats Doing to YOUR Heart?” Consider coming at the problem from a unique angle. For example “Is Chocolate a Health Food?” tends to draw a crowd because people genuinely want to know whether the answer is yes. Think about what will prompt your participants to… well… participate.
  • A poster or two. A pop of color in an unexpected place really draws the eye. Posters offer a great way to communicate the absolute key messages that you want to get across, and do so by addressing several different learning styles. You can browse the amazing selection of posters at the Nutrition Education Store, or craft your own at home. Consider including a chart or graph, a few key points about your topic, and an illustration or two. Craft stores offer scrap booking supplies or you can make and print a poster at a print shop.
  • A gift or prize. Do you have something that your participants want? Whether their visit to your display enters them into a raffle for an extra vacation day or you just happened to put a bowl of awesome wristbands out in a highly visible area, if you have something they want, your audience will come to you. A selection of tasty samples for a nutritious cooking demo or quick lunch idea has been known to draw a crowd. They may come for the prize, but then they’ll usually stay for your information.

Of course, you aren’t limited to one or two “hooks” to draw your audience. It could be effective to combine a few of the ideas above. After all, you want your display to appeal to a wide range of people so that everyone will stop by at some point.

Here are popular topics right now:

  • Portion control
  • Guide to food labels
  • Diabetes awareness
  • Gardening vegetables
  • Supermarket tours
  • Healthier cooking with colors
  • Energy drink over-consumption
  • Healthy 123 – how to make healthier choices for people who are time and budget strapped and making all the wrong choices
  • Moving more
  • Fad diet 101

Cheryl Bachinski, a school nurse, is planning a health fair and she needs a banner to help people who are constrained by time and money to make better choices for their families who are struggling with their weight. She says they drink too many sweetened sodas, eat too many cupcakes and chips, and they never exercise. The Healthier Choices 123 Banner was created for her. Check it out and you can buy it on sale or use the display idea for your own.

Part Three: Follow Up

You don’t want to oversimplify and limit yourself to communicating solely through the eye-popping, interest-grabbing visuals. Once people are drawn in by part two, often they will want to know more detail about the subjects you’re addressing. That’s where handouts, recipes, and scientific studies come in. If you’re offering samples of a nutritious dish, for example, it would be wise to have copies of the recipe on hand so that anyone who is interested can make the food themselves. You might also stock a couple handouts about the health benefits of the foods that the recipe features. By the same token, if your visual is a banner asking people whether or not they are eating too much salt, you might want to have some handouts about salt consumption and a few peer-reviewed studies for people to read if they drop by your booth. It’s best if you have lots of copies of whatever you’re disseminating. That way people can review the information multiple times and use your resources as a reference long after the display is dismantled.

There are lots of other things that you can do to make a great Nutrition Month display. You can coordinate activities, bring in a guest speaker, play games, etc. The possibilities really are endless, but the steps above are a good place to start. Of course, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — there are tons of display kits that are ready-to-go in the Nutrition Education Store. After all, we gathered this knowledge about how to make an engaging display. Why wouldn’t we apply it right away in order to offer you all the tools you need, with none of the effort? There’s no need to burn the midnight oil crafting the perfect poster/handout combination when there are hundreds of options already available in the store. Plus, we happily (and quickly) create custom supplies upon request.

Some of the most popular display kits have been selling like gangbusters in the leadup to Nutrition Month, so if you’re looking for one of these, check out the salt display kit (pictured on the left), the cooking demonstration display kit, or the health fair kit. There are also fantastic a la carte items available, things like a poster easel or a vinyl banner. Remember, if you don’t see something that you want, let us know and we’ll make it for you right away!

So, what displays are you putting together for Nutrition Month? Share your great ideas by tweeting us @foodhealth or writing on our Facebook wall.

3 Nutrition Month Activity Ideas and a Free Infographic

Nutrition Month is coming right up — are you ready to address this year’s theme? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the New Nutrition Month PosterNutrition Month theme for 2014 is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” This theme offers a great way to introduce people to healthful — and delicious — new foods. To make this task easier for you, we’ve created a colorful new poster that addresses the theme of Nutrition Month 2014.

This nutrition poster is a great resource for Nutrition Month and helps its viewers realize the wide range of flavors and textures that abound in healthful food. With great photography and creative descriptions, this health poster is a wonderful way to brighten up any office or classroom.

Want to take it a step further? Try some of these great activity ideas to go with your new poster. Whether you’re looking for class discussions or games, we’ve got a little something for everyone…

Activity #1: Wheel of Flavor

Start by punching a hole in the middle of two index cards. Place a paper arrow over each hole and affix it to the card with a brad. Give the arrows a flick to make sure that they spin smoothly. Tape one index card over the photo of the vegetables in the center of the large wheel, and tape the second card in the center of the smaller “Dairy” wheel. Now you have transformed your poster into a set of game wheels.

Before your session, set up the poster in an easily visible area of the room.

Once your audience has arrived, divide the participants into 2 groups. The groups can then take turns sending members up to pick a wheel and spin it. The volunteer must then name a healthful food in that food group that could be described by the adjective the arrow landed on. For example, if the arrow lands on the word “tart” in the dairy category, the volunteer could answer “plain nonfat yogurt.” Once a food is correctly named, the volunteer earns a point for his/her group, and the other group gets a chance to send up a representative.

If a person guesses a food that is not part of the food group, does not posses the flavor chosen, or which is not healthful, the opposing group gets a chance to guess a food that fits better, thus picking up the point. At the end of the game, tally up the points and declare a winner.

Activity #2: Flavor and Texture, Together at Last

Slice up a few apples and distribute pieces to your participants. Brainstorm words that describe the flavor and texture of the apples. Are they sweet? Crispy? Crunchy? See how many different words your group can come up with.

For a fun variation, slice up a few different types of apples. Have participants compare the flavors and textures. How are they the same? How are they different?

Activity #3: Condiments and Flavor Boosts

Lay out a buffet of a few plain foods like baked potatoes, grilled chicken breasts (no skin), and/or brown rice. Arrange a second buffet nearby, this one full of flavorful toppings like salsas and fresh herbs.

Have participants taste the plain foods first, describing the textures and flavors. Then let them loose on the toppings bar. How do the flavors and textures change? How can healthful condiments make foods more palatable?

As far as toppings go, consider including any of the following: fresh or jarred salsas, roasted vegetable purees, fresh herbs, dried herbs, different kinds of pepper (white, cayenne, black), hot sauce, lemon slices, etc.

Free Infographic

If you’d like to help your clients enjoy the taste of eating right today, then download this great flavor wheel infographic. It’s perfect for email blasts, tweets, handouts, and more!

Who doesn't love a good infographic?

Is there anything else you need for Nutrition Month? Some of the most popular Nutrition Month materials include…

Nutrition Poster

Nutrition Poster

Cooking Demonstration Display Kit

Cooking Demonstration Display Kit

What's in Your Food? Poster Set

What’s in Your Food? Poster Set

Nutrition Bootcamp Presentation

Nutrition Bootcamp Presentation