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Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Delicious Dairy, Complete Activities

Content by: NCES, Inc.

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection is a comprehensive Lesson Plan for kids of all ages...

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection:  Delicious Dairy, Complete Activities






Milk and milk products provide the body with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A and D, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential to good health. The combination of nutrients in dairy and milk products aids in building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth, helping the heart to beat and muscles to work properly. Choose fat-free or low-fat foods from the dairy group for all the powerful nutrients without the added fat, cholesterol and calories. Individuals who can’t or don’t drink milk should choose lactose-free dairy products and calcium fortified foods and beverages.

At the beginning of the lesson draw a small circle on a piece of white paper and color it blue with a blue marker or crayon. Using one of the plates from a previous lesson place the blue circle on the outer edge of the plate by the grains group.


🥛 How many of you had milk today with your breakfast or lunch?
Answer: Milk and dairy group foods help your body to build strong bones and teeth and help your heart to beat and muscles to flex. The calcium and vitamin D found in milk work together to make your bones strong.

Do you know how many bones you have in your body? [Allow students to guess]
Answer: 206!

🦴 Did you know? How many bones are in each hand and foot?

Answer: You have 27 bones in each hand and 27 bones in each foot? (27+27+27+27 = 108 bones in your hands and feet – over half of the 206 bones in your whole body!)

Visual: [Using the small bone handout, you can make copies and cut out the bones to illustrate the number of bones.]

🦴 Why Strong Bones?

Answer: Now is the time to build up your body’s calcium supply so that when you get older you have enough to keep your bones and teeth strong. We add calcium to our body by eating foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, and juices and soy milk with calcium added to them. If we don’t drink or eat foods with milk in them our bones won’t be healthy and they may look like this...

Visual: Print the large bone illustration from the accompanying support materials and either punch several holes in the bone or make several small slits – to illustrate a weak bone. To illustrate a strong bone copy bone image on white cardstock.

🦴 What do you think can happen when our bones are not strong?

Answer: They may break easily if you fall. Do you know what else helps keep your bones strong? By being active everyday – like running, jumping and playing ball at recess or when you get home from school.

*** For Older Students (9-12 years) ***
🦴 Why Strong Bones?

We are all born with a limited amount of calcium in our bones. No other time in your life can you add as much strength to your bones as you can now. When you turn 25 or so, it doesn’t matter how much calcium you take in, very little of it actually gets to your bones. We must add it by consuming foods rich in it, like milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, calcium fortified juices and soy milk, and even ice cream. If we don’t our bones won’t be healthy and they may look like this...[visual]

Visual: Print the large bone illustration from the accompanying support materials and either punch several holes in the bone or make several small slits – to illustrate a weak bone. To illustrate a strong bone copy bone image on white cardstock.

Discussion: If our bones look like this, they are more likely to break or you could develop what you might call a hunched back. In fact, osteoporosis causes 1.5 million bone fractures each year. But, the problem doesn’t start when we are 50. It starts when we are young…right now you are building your bones. The more active you are now also helps strengthen your bones. But, if your bones are weak, even now, that affects your body and the likelihood of bone fractures. So, you need to get enough calcium everyday to feed those 206 bones!

There are a variety of dairy group foods to choose from, but look for low-fat or fat free varieties and avoid drinking wholemilk as it is full of artery clogging fat. For example, choose 1% or fat free skim milk and look for lower fat varieties of cheese. [Although white fat free milk is the healthier choice, flavored milks, such as chocolate or strawberry skim milk, also contain the calcium you need.] If you can not drink milk or do not like the taste of milk you can choose lactose-free milk products or calcium-fortified foods and beverages. You may see a lot of foods or beverages with calcium added to them, but stop and think to make sure they are a healthy food to begin with. Which would be the healthier choice – 100% fruit juice with added calcium or a fruit drink with calcium added? The 100% juice fortified with calcium would be the better choice.

NOTE: The PDF Button allows you to download minimum materials needed. Or, SHOP and order teaching tools and materials.

Milk Jug Relay Activity:
This activity can remind students that the combination of eating calcium rich foods and being physically active are important for strong bones.

For this activity you will need at least 4 to 6 empty and cleaned gallon milk jugs.
Tip! Ask students to bring empty jugs from home.

Step 1: Ask the class to fill them with various things – paper clips, dry beans, uncooked macaroni noodles, sand, or water – making each jug weigh differently.

Step 2: Prior to beginning the relay, ask them which jug they think will be the heaviest to carry. Have children form two lines and have them do different movements (walk, skip, hop, shuffle) while carrying the weighted milk jug to a designated point. To keep the children standing in line active, you can ask them march in place or pretend to do bicep curls.

Step 3: After each child has had a chance to carry all the jugs, ask children how they felt while carrying the different jugs – which one was the heaviest, lightest? This activity does not have to be a race.

Bag It Activity:

🦴 Two bags (1 green bag for bone building foods and 1 red bag for non-bone building foods)
🍊 Food Models, or
🥦 Food images

Step 1: Using food models, pictures of food from the accompanying support materials and magazines, and empty boxes and bottles, have students bag the bone building foods in the green bag and non-bone building foods in the red bag.

Step 2: Foods can also be posted on green and red paper. Remember the red bag contains once and a while foods, remind children that these are “sometimes” foods not every day foods.

Step 3: Discuss the Bone-Building foods in the green bag are foods they can enjoy every day to help them stay healthy.

🦴 Bone-Building Foods Include: low-fat or fat-free milk, low-fat or fat-free flavored milks, yogurt, drinkable yogurts, low-fat cheese, string cheese, green leafy vegetables, smoothies, pudding, calcium fortified orange juice.

🍪. Non-Bone Building Foods Include: soda, potato and corn chips, candy, chocolate bars, French fries, cookies, cake.

Feed those Bones Intake Activity:

🍎 Healthy Score Card
🦴 Bone Graphic
🦴 Bone Bucks

Step 1: Using the Healthy Score Card, have students track their dairy group consumption remind them that they need to get 3 servings of dairy group foods each day.

NOTE: 1 dairy group serving equals 1 cup of milk, 8 ounces of yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese. They can also eat calcium fortified foods, such as 1 cup calcium fortified orange juice or soy milk, soy cheese, and/or soy yogurt. To add incentives for students to reach their goal of 3 servings a day.

Step 2: Use the bone graphic included (either blow it up or use the bone size provided and mark 5 sections representing 5 days of the school week). Divide each section into three (this could also be done by putting three triangles or circles into each section).

Step 3: As the students eat or drink a serving from the dairy group have them color in one of the triangles. If theyeat/drink their goal for the day they can color in the entire section.

Step 4: Have a bone-building party with a bone-building snack and free recess or physical activity time to reinforce building healthy bones and to celebrate their success.

Added Opton:
Step 5: You can also use the bone bucks handout on the accompanying support materials and give students a bone buck when they meet their goal of three servings a day.

Step 6: Bone bucks can be used to purchase free time, no shoes day, or as a class activity to fill their bone bank (an empty milk jug or other container) and have a bone-building party or extra physical activity time to reinforce building healthy bones.

Discussion Exercises:

🥛 How much milk do you need? Cool kids your age need…

Children 6-8 years old need 2-3 cups per day.
Children 9-12 years old need 3 cups per day.

Visual: Use liquid measuring cups, school milk cartons or containers of yogurt to show children how much milk they need each day. Explain/show that drinking 1 cup (8 ounces) of milk at breakfast, 1 carton of milk at school lunch, and 1 cup (8 ounces) of yogurt as a snack will help them meet their needs.

*** For Older Students (9-12 years) ***
🥛 If 1 cup or 1 school milk carton, 1 cup of yogurt, and 1 1/2 ounces of cheese is a serving, how could you get in your 3 servings of dairy group foods in one day?

Answer: 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1 1/2 oz of natural cheese or 2 oz of processed cheese are considered 1 cup from the dairy group.

🍊 Can you think of any of your favorite foods that are made with milk? [Give students an opportunity to answer, if one says they don’t like milk or my family doesn’t drink milk, ask them to share how they get calcium in – do they drink a calcium fortified beverage, such as soy milk or orange juice?]

Answer: Milk is also used to make other foods, like pudding and pancakes.

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