CHOOSE MY PLATE ASSIGNMENT

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Claire Raykovitz
PPE 310
Professor Vance Miller
March 16th 2016

CHOOSE MY PLATE ASSIGNMENT

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Introduction
As teachers, it is important that at certain points we take the time to teach our students
about health and nutrition. Teachers are role models for these students health. As educators we
spend over seven hours with our class each day. We try to teach our students from the beginning
that it vital to have a healthy breakfast filled with protein and fruit etc. but is it really working?
From the first day of school, students are put in the position of making choices with food,
whether it be what snack to have, or what to eat for lunch, the students are in control. To help
promote healthy eating in students and children in general, the US department of agriculture
created a “Food Tracker” tool where students and adults can see what the nutritional facts or
benefits are of what goes into their body daily at school. The tool was created to have an impact

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on teachers, families and children to make healthier choices, and be in control of their own
bodies from the start.
Summary
The assignment we are completing was to create a student at the school we are at (Adams
Elementary School) and use the USDA Food tracker to see the nutritional facts of one school
day’s breakfast and lunch option. A student at Adams Elementary was observed and then used as
the imitation student for this assignment so that we would have information from this exact
school. Once the breakfast and lunch items were placed into the food tracker system online, the
nutritional facts were compared with the National Standards for School Meals as well as the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans. When comparing the results with these two documents, we
were able to discover the problems with the school breakfast and lunch system and what should
be taking place in order for changes to be made.
National Standards for School Meals
The National Standards for School Meals was created so school systems could have an
outline of what their breakfasts and lunches should look like. This document allows for schools
to have options and ideas to create healthy lunches which follow health guidelines. When
looking at Adams Elementary School’s lunch you would think that the school would use these
guidelines to create their lunch menu, however I definitely saw some areas where the school
menu veered off track from the standards provided. Although many of the standards were in
correspondence with the standards, not all were. One of the standards states that during
breakfast schools need to “offer a daily meat/meat alternate for breakfast” (Nutrition, 2012).
Although the school does offer a daily meat on their lunch menu, rarely do you see meat being

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offered for breakfast. Most days out of the month the students are eating prepackaged pastries,
granola bars or something cheap and easy for the schools to hand out. There are probably 10
days out of the month that the school will offer a hot breakfast sandwich or a breakfast consisting
of a meat product (Adams Elementary, 2016). When looking at the standards compared to the
menu at Adams Elementary school, it is apparent that they are trying to make an effort to meet
the standards; however there is definitely still work to be done.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide three goals and a way to reach
them. The goals are; allow a balance to happen between the intake of calories and the amount of
physical activity taking place, consume healthier foods from particular food groups and finally
the third goal is to eat less sugar, refined foods and foods with lots of sodium (Dietary
Guidelines, 2010). The combination of breakfast and lunch that is being tracked in the food
tracker shows that what is being served does not technically meet these standards completely, but
they did in one area; sodium intake. An average student will have a sodium intake of 2300 mg
per day. Through breakfast and lunch the amount of sodium was 1675mg. So according to the
Food Tracking program, Adams elementary is within the guidelines in that area (SuperTracker
2016).
The student that I created was involved in physical activities for 60 minutes or more per
day. At school, the students have PE twice a week for 45 minutes each session. The students
also receive recess daily, for 20 minutes (Adams Elementary School 2016). 60 minutes of
physical activity a day is possible, especially when factoring in physical activity during the
school day. The second goal on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to allow a balance

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between caloric intake and the amount of physical activity taking place. During the school day
the student would have eaten 1175 calories. The student should be consuming 2000 calories a
day, so with this information it would leave our student to eat 825 calories when not in school
(SuperTracker 2016). I think that this balance between physical activity and caloric intake would
work. The students will be burning calories while exercising and will probably have remaining
calories by the end of the day.
When looking at the guidelines, part of a goal is to eat less sugar. This area Adams
Elementary struggles with. When placing the breakfast and lunch menu into the food tracking
system, it showed that the student would eat 55 grams of sugar through these two meals. The
daily intake for this student is supposed to be 50 grams or less (SuperTracker 2016). Students
will be eating more sugar than recommended throughout two meals at school.
By reading these guidelines, it definitely shows areas that Adams Elementary School
needs to work on, but also shows that they are making an effort in meeting these goals for all
students.
Nutritional Improvements
When seeing the results from the Food tracker and thinking that as a future educator these
are some of the problems that I will be faced with. The results show that students are only
reaching one of their daily goals for each food group. In some areas like vegetables, there is
nothing, no servings of vegetables (SuperTracker 2016). The students are not receiving the
necessary protein with their breakfast, instead they are faced with sugar filled pastries and
useless carbohydrates that will not keep them full (Adams Elementary School 2016). As a future
educator, I would like to see hot breakfast being served to the students daily. Whether it be in the

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cafeteria, or breakfast sandwiches in classrooms, some sort of protein needs to be available to
students.
Another way to improve the nutrition of my schools breakfast and lunch menu is to limit canned
fruits and vegetables which contain lots of unwanted sugar and sodium. By limiting these
options and choosing fresh fruit and veggies, the students will be taking in less sugar, and
receiving more nutritional benefits such as vitamins from the fresh options.

One last thing that I would fight to change about our breakfast and lunch program is the
options available. From looking at the menu at my school, it is very apparent that there is
usually a healthy option, and a not healthy option. Everyday there is either pizza, nachos, fried
foods and other unhealthy foods served (Adams Elementary, 2016). These options should be
limited; instead they should serve a protein, a vegetable, a fruit and milk. By changing the menu
to be healthier and fuller of the necessary food groups, the sugar, fat, and sodium intake of the
students will drop drastically.

Reflection
By completing this activity myself, I could see this being beneficial to schools and
students everywhere. This could become a project for every student. Students would be able to
input everything they ate that day, the amount of exercise they did and are then able to see areas
that they need to fix or consume less of. An activity such as this would make students become
self-aware of what is being put into their bodies, and what they can do to be healthier.

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An activity such as the food tracker is really able to be used for any grade level or age.
Kindergarten students are able to become familiar with health and healthy options from the
beginning of their schooling. This is an activity that could be completed with a parent, or
guardian. As students get older they will then be able to complete this tracking tool by
themselves and the activity could even get more in depth from there.
I think that it would be really cool for the whole school to take advantage of this tool and
really become focused on bettering the health of our students. If every teacher was able to use
the food tracker in a way that works best for them, the students would be familiar with the tool
throughout their schooling, and it would become a normal part of the day, kind of like an
expectation.
In my future classroom, I could definitely see myself using this tool. I have realized that
student health is not only up to the individual and their family, but the teacher and school as well.
I will be with my students 7 hours a day for 180 days. It is important that I am able to teach
students about their health, and guide them to make healthier decisions. In my classroom, I
could see myself having the students take time at the end of the day to fill in the food tracker
with all they ate that day. I will then have them write down their results and write a goal for the
rest of the day and for tomorrow. What do they want to accomplish or change? We will do this
throughout the year. At the end of the first half of the year the students will be able to look back
and see if they have made any changes. They will be able to set goals for the next half of the
year and once it is the end of the year we will look at all the progress we made throughout the
whole 180 days. Not only will parents really like to see progress from the students, but it will set
the students up for a healthier lifestyle from there on out.

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References
Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (2010, January). Retrieved March 16, 2016, from
http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2010.asp#overview
Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. (2012).
Federal Registrar, 77(17), 4088-4089. Retrieved March 16, 2016 from
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-26/pdf/2012-1010.pdf
March 2016 Adams Elementary School Breakfast and Lunch Menu. (2016, March). Retrieved
March 16, 2016, from http://www.mpsaz.org/food/menus1/el-menus/files/march_2016__web.pdf
SuperTracker: My Foods. My Fitness. My Health. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2016, from
https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/foodtracker.aspx

Criteria

Points (5) Exemplary

Introduction
SCORE:     x1

ChooseMyPlate
Analysis

SCORE:      
x1


Introduction was well
organized and created a plan
for the paper
One breakfast and one lunch
(or 2 restaurant options)
were evaluated
Results reflect a hypothetical
student
Screen shot was included

Points (3) Proficient



Introduction was somewhat
organized and created a plan for
the paper
Only one breakfast or lunch (or 1
restaurant option) was evaluated
Results reflected a hypothetical
student, but not enough
information was provided
Screen shot was included, but
incomplete

Points (1) Ne



Introduction
and did not
paper
Only one br
1 restaurant
evaluated bu
Results did
hypothetical
Screen shot

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Application of

results and
proposed changes

SCORE:     x1

Summary/Reflect
ion SCORE:
     x1



Writing
SCORE:      
x1



Referencing
Style

SCORE:

     x1

Contained a very detailed
application of National
Standards for School Meals
Contains very detailed
applications of Dietary
Guidelines for Americans
Contains very detailed
discussions for 3 changes to
improve nutrition
A summary of the current
state of the school’s nutrition
was included
Summary of changes were
included
A detailed reflection
regarding how this teacher
knowledge of students
impacts your students inside
and outside your classroom
Proper grammar and
punctuation is used
throughout the proposal
All sentences are clear &
developed
Paper was at least 3 pages
with standard margins, font,
& text size
APA style referencing used
throughout paper and on the
reference sheet
The file document name
contains…
Lastname.firstname.assign#.
course#
This rubric was attached









Contained a somewhat detailed
application of National Standards
for School Meals
Contained somewhat detailed
applications of Dietary
Guidelines for Americans
Contains somewhat detailed
discussions only 2 changes to
improve nutrition
A summary of the current state of
the school in terms of nutrition
was included
but did not align with paper
A summary of the proposed
changes was included but did not
align with paper
A general reflection of how this
data impacts your students

Most grammar and correct
punctuation is used throughout
the proposal
Most sentences are clear &
developed
Paper was 1-3 pages with
standard margins, font, and size
of text
APA style referencing mostly
used throughout the paper and on
the reference sheet with some
errors
The file name somewhat contains
the
Lastname.firstname.assignment#.
course#
This rubric was added but not at
the end








Contained li
application o
Standards fo
Contained li
application o
Guidelines f
Contained li
included 1 c
nutrition
A summary
of the schoo
nutrition wa
A summary
changes was
A reflection
as it relates
was missing

Many gramm
punctuation
throughout t
Many senten
and underde
Paper was le
length with
margins, fon
Many errors
referencing
and on the r
The file doc
not contain
Lastname.fi
.course#
This rubric w
document su