Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Delicious Dairy, Single Activity

Content by: NCES, Inc.

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, as a child. Enjoy this great classroom activity!

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection:  Delicious Dairy, Single Activity


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Milk and milk products provide the body with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A and D and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential to good health. The combination of nutrients in dairy and milk products aids in building 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 consider lactose-free dairy products and calcium fortified foods and beverages.

Single Delicious Dairy Activity:
🥛 Using food models, pictures of food, or empty boxes/bottles, give each student (or pair/group of students) a different food/beverage item.

🥛 Label each side of the room as one of the following: Bone-Building or Non-Bone Building Foods.

🥛 Have students move to a different side of the room depending on what food they have and what category it belongs in.

🥛 The Bone-Building foods 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, calcium fortified orange juice.

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

Discussion Talking Points
🦴 How many bones do you have in your body?
Answer: 206

🦴 How do we keep those bones healthy?
Answer: eating/drinking enough calcium

🥛 What are good sources of calcium?
Answer: dairy products like milk, cheese & yogurt

NOTE: Calcium can be gotten from “calcium fortified foods” like some juices, cereals and milk alternatives (soy milk or lactose free milk). Calcium can also be found in green leafy vegetables. Staying active also helps the body to build strong bones for strong bones with age. Strong bones prevent breaks & fractures. Staying active and getting plenty of calcium as a child can help to prevent weak bones with age.

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.

🥛 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?

NOTE: 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.

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