Sunday, May 29, 2011

Goodbye Food Pyramid...

This is a public service announcement.  Ha,ha,ha... ok so not really but I just learned the American Food Guide Pyramid will be trashed on this coming Thursday.  The new dietary food guideline symbol will be released on Thursday as well but according to the New York Times, it will be a dinner plate which will be divided into 4 sections.  Half the plate will be fruits or vegetables.  The other half will have grains and proteins.  Sitting beside it will be a glass representing dairy.  And somehow, it is supposed to clarify between things that are healthy and unhealthy as well as teach about the need for exercise.  It will be interesting to see!  It is supposed to be easier to understand and follow.  (And that makes sense.  We eat on plates and if you match your plate to the guideline then you should be great!)

The reason behind all of this?  It is Pres. Obama's attempt to fight obesity.  (Which really is a problem!  I just read on the USDA Press Release that more than 1/3 of children and 2/3s of adults are either overweight or obese.)  It is also meant to shift the American diet to a more plant based eating habits as well as incorporate the 2008 physical activity guidelines.

(this is the cover for the
Dietary Guidelines Book)
Also, just so you are aware, the Dietary Guidelines for 2010 have already been released.  It is like a 100 page book which I was scrolling through.  There is A LOT of information!!

So how will this affect me?  Well, first of all, I am still in that 2/3s population of being overweight or obese.  And although I have already lost over 70 pounds, I still have some more to go to be "normal" weight.  So I personally am willing to read and study it to help make my life and my handsome hubby's lives better.

But more importantly, this change is HUGE!  Yesterday, I spent the ENTIRE day planning bulletin boards (I have 2 really, REALLY cute ideas that I'm excited about) and writing my 7th grade lesson plan for the second day of school.  Yup... guess what we are learning about.  How to read food labels (which fortunately that won't change!) and the Food Guide Pyramid.  Which I guess now will mean the Food Plate?  Um, not only do I have to read and understand it well enough for me, I have to figure it out well enough to teach my students.  And specifically what the guidelines are for them.

So that means, I have to write a new lesson plan.  I will need to order enough paper copies and information that I can send things home with the students to help them learn (and be excited about) the new plate.  I'm thinking in class we will still go over similar information but instead of coloring and studying the pyramid we will color a plate.  But, I want them to spend time on the new (I'm assuming they will make a new interactive) website.  Maybe I will make that a homework assignment or try to schedule some time in the computer lab.  But that means I'm going to have to spend some time playing around on the website and coming up with an assignment first.  I will also need to order new textbooks.  That likely won't happen until next year though.  And I need to make a cute, attention getting bulletin board to help my students understand the new plate and to help teach them healthy habits.  And I want to teach my kids to make healthy recipes on a tight budget.

Yup... this change affects me as a Food Teacher a lot!!!

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