Even if nutrition is not officially part of your curriculum, with today’s staggering obesity epidemic it is so important to teach and model a healthy lifestyle. Data from NHANES surveys shows:
(1976–1980 and 2003–2006) the prevalence of obesity has increased: for children aged 2–5 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 12.4%; for those aged 6–11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5% to 17.0%; and for those aged 12–19 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 17.6%.
When I was a classroom teacher, I always made time to teach a unit on health because it is such an important aspect of our lives. If we don’t have our health, not much else matters.
Here are 12 great resources for teaching and learning about health, nutrition and exercise. If you know of other great ones, add them in the comment sections.
Super fun interactive site for kids with recipes, nutrition advice, fitness activities and suggestions, games, comics and much more. There’s also an educator section with lesson plans and activities.
BAM! Body and Mind is an online destination for kids created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Designed for kids 9-13 years old, BAM! Body and Mind gives them the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices. The site focuses on topics that kids say are important to them — such as stress and physical fitness — using kid-friendly lingo, games, quizzes, and other interactive features.
Fun site from the United States Department of Agriculture gets kids thinking about what a balanced, healthy meal consists of. In the game, kids can reach Planet Power by fueling their rocket with food and physical activity. “Fuel” tanks for each food group help students keep track of how their choices fit into a well-balanced lifestyle.
The Best Bones Forever!™ Campaign encourages girls to get active and eat more foods with calcium and vitamin D. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a site design that couples pink with skulls, but I get what they’re aiming for with it. Lots of girl-geared things to do on this site like games, activities, recipes and quizzes with good information on healthy eating and living.
Highly interactive site created by the National Dairy Council with games, nutritional information, featured recipes, physical activity ideas, and more.
Health and nutrition information you can trust about kids and teens that’s free of “doctor speak.” According to the site, “KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years.” Lots of good information here
Simple site, but a lot of gems here. Activities, puzzles, things to do ideas, downloads, recipes, links and books on nutrition recommendation
The goal of Playnormous is to use a fun media, particularly online casual games, in order to inform, educate, and inspire children to make healthier life choices regarding nutrition and physical activity. Health games and information for kids, and instructional guides for teachers.
This site offers students the opportunity to learn about nutrition in a fun, interactive way. Check out the nutrition sleuth section.
Kidnetic.com is designed for kids aged 9-12 and their families, the Leader’s Guide is a lesson-based curriculum guide for health professionals and educators to use when working with patients and students, and the Parents’ Guide provides quick and easy-to-use information just for parents.
From baby teeth to braces, Healthy Teeth is all about what goes on inside your mouth. Produced by dentists for elementary aged kids curious about the “why?” of oral health.
With hand-held games, tv, laptops, facebook, mobile phones, homework, and ever-increasing after school activities, kids are getting less and less sleep. The National Sleep Foundation has created Sleep for Kids to show how important a good night’s sleep is.
GirlsHealth is geared towards specific health-related issues that affect mainly girls. Body image, bullying, nutrition, fitness, healthy lifestyles, and more sections are written in a style that will get girls on the right track towards health.
Nourish Interactive is a great resource for kids, parents, and educators to learn about ways to be fit and healthy. There are games that teach about nutrition (and about not spending too much time playing computer games), nutrition worksheets, teacher tools, and lesson plans, as well as tips and tools for parents.
- Healthy menu creation
- Plan and cook a meal for your family and produce a video chronically the events
- Food Journaling – students keep a log of everything they eat for a given amount of time.
- Health Wiki – Class creates a wiki about nutrition, exercise, healthy eating, etc.
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