High School Curriculum:
"Food For Thought"
High school students are prime candidates for having more in-depth conversations about food and nutrition. For one reason, they may now have a job and a car that allows them to start purchasing foods on their own and are making their own food decisions. They may be preparing for college and want to learn more about career opportunities within the food and nutrition field, or they may want to know how they can advocate for healthier foods on their plate.
Food for Thought topics explore some of the issues we face today around food and nutrition including chronic diseases once only seen in adults now showing up in youth and problems with how our food is produced. Students also learn about what is being done to diminish some of these issues. Most importantly they learn how the food choices they make affect their own personal health, but also the world around them.
Topics presented are fun and relate-able to high school students!
Our innovative ”Food for Thought” curriculum topics include:
1) Food Glorious Food introduces the food system and food’s journey from farm to table.
2) How Does Your Garden Grow? covers agribusiness and how food is grown, including the concept of genetically modified foods (GMO’s).
3) Processed Kids teaches how food is processed and manufactured, including: 1) the five biggest processors in the world and their ownership of today’s food companies, 2) how sugar is refined, and 3) common food additives.
4) Fossil Foods studies the effects of pesticides on foods and the environment, how far food travels from farm to plate and the accompanying fossil fuel consumption, and how food processing causes food and water pollution.
5) The Art and Science of Junk Food Marketing explores the impact of food marketing on consumer choice, how food branding works, the various ways food companies market to teens, and how fast food marketing affects consumer health.
6) Nutrition 101 teaches the basics of nutrition for teens, including macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, protein and good fat), the value of choosing foods loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the negative health impacts of cholesterol, fat and salt.
7) The Golden Rules of School Food studies how the USDA impacts school food options. Students research healthy food choices in their cafeteria and nutrition education opportunities that are happening in their district/school.
8) Supermarket Savant explores the movement towards more fresh and local foods, the difference between organic and conventional foods, the value of cooking food at home, and how to understand nutrition information on a food label. CLICK HERE TO SEE A SAMPLE OF THIS CHAPTER
9) Lightning-Speed Foods covers healthy restaurant trends, how to decipher healthy meal choices at fast food restaurants, and “right-size” portions.
10) Food Inequality examines hunger in students’ neighborhoods, in Colorado, and in the world.
Middle School Curriculum:
"You Are What You Eat"
The biggest reason middle school students choose one food over the other is they want to eat healthier. We know music to our ears! Educating these students on what constitutes healthy foods, on why they should choose “real” and less processed foods and the value of consuming more fruits and vegetables is critical to students during this time as they are growing and developing rapidly.
They also want to do perform better in sports and have indicated they want to look good and to lose weight.
“You Are What You Eat” encourages students to be “fit” rather than focus on a number on a scale or their appearance. It combines “real” food nutrition with the value of being physically active and setting positive emotional habits to achieve overall health and wellbeing. There is an emphasis on changing habits and having students explore how they feel before and after they have made these changes. Students that have taken this course consume more “real” foods; eat more fruits and vegetables, eat less fast food, drink less soda and read more food labels.
Topics presented are fun and relate-able to middle school students!
Our innovative ”You Are What You Eat” curriculum topics include:
Topic 1: Foods that Fuel - Starting with food and nutrition basics helps set the groundwork for students to learn what foods best fuel their ever-growing, ever-changing bodies.
Topic 2: Keep it “Real" - Students begin to explore the value of choosing “real” foods over the highly processed packaged and boxed foods and snack foods that they may normally choose to eat.
Topic 3: Collective Science – “Real” food nutrition is only one piece of the healthy body and healthy mind puzzle. True healthfulness integrates physical activity and positive emotional habits (e.g. reducing stress and getting enough sleep) into it.
Topic 4: Food Evolution - Students will learn how food has evolved throughout history in relation to the industrial food revolution, guidelines set out by the United States Department of Agriculture and student’s cultural roots.
Topic 5: Fashion or Forever More – As we become a more “health-conscious” society, individuals and families are looking at new and different ways to include foods that will improve their health or forming healthy lifestyles. They are also much more aware of foods that cause allergies or intolerances and how their body reacts to them.
Topic 6: Three Squares a Day – The tried and true eating three square meals a day, still stands today. Students who eat breakfast, lunch and dinner are more focused, can sustain energy throughout the day and do better overall academically.
Topic 7: Way Better Snacks – Snacks in their whole form can add so much nutrition to a young teen’s day. Unfortunately, what we are seeing is kids eating chips or cookies and drinking sodas or energy drinks as a snack. Here we discuss how students can integrate “real” food snacks into their day.
Topic 8: Supercharged Fruits and Veggies – There are so many factors that make fruits and vegetables healthy and yet the average adolescent is only consuming a few of them a day. Often it is in the form of highly processed juices or fruit snacks vs. the fresh or whole form.
Topic 9: Dinner Out – Back in the day, families dined out only occasionally. It may have been once a month or every couple of months. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for families to dine out several times a week and it is usually at establishments without a focus on health.
Topic 10: It’s a Wrap! – This topic covers a review of topics learned throughout the semester. Students do a presentation on their personal wellness plans and goals set for moving forward around “real” food nutrition, physical activity and setting positive emotional habits.