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Websites Stress Diet and Exercise for National Nutrition Month

March Is National Nutrition Month

Found In: health, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8

March is National Nutrition Month (NNM). The theme for 2012 is Get Your Plate in Shape and stresses the importance of making informed food choices and developing good habits in eating and physical activity.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which originated NNM in 1973, provides a classroom guide ( PDF, 598 KB, 6 pgs.) with activities and games for students in grades K-8. Some of the activities can be incorporated into math, social studies, science, and language arts classes.

The 2012 theme incorporates the USDA’s new MyPlate model, which replaced MyPyramid in 2011. The USDA’s website has a number of resources for the classroom. MyPlate Graphic Resources provides MyPlate model placemats as JPGs, GIFs, and PDFs in English and Spanish. Complete MyPlate placemats are available as well as placemats that feature individual food groups.’s 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series are all in PDF format. The most recent Choose MyPlate ( PDF, 827 KB, 1 pg.) is colorful theme-related poster with easy to remember tips watching what we eat.

The website’s section on physical activity addresses the second half of this year’s theme. This section discusses our need for exercise, how much is needed, how many calories are used in different activities, and how to increase physical activity at home, work, and play.

A special section for educators is aimed at grades 1-6. The Blast Off Game lets students fuel a rocket with food and physical activity to reach Planet Power. Fuel tanks for each food group help students keep track of food choices.

CDC’s Fruit and Vegetables Matter

Another worthy website is the CDC’s Fruits and Vegetables Matter. Fruits and vegetables fill half your plate in the new model, and this website lets users calculate what they should eat each day to meet the suggested requirements. Analyze My Plate is an interactive that lets users determine the nutritional value of a typical breakfast, lunch, or dinner and then makes suggestions for improving. Recipe Remix helps students determine how fruits and vegetables can make favorite meals healthy by reducing fat, calories, and sodium.



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