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Review of:

What Should I Put on My Plate?

Image courtesy of:
Abrams Learning Trends
Producer:Abrams Learning Trends
Date Produced:2012
  • Booklet
  • Early Childhood (2-5 yrs)
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
  • General Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Meal Planning
  • MyPlate/DGA Training
  • Grains/Whole Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Protein
  • Vitamins and Minerals
Description:This informational text presents MyPlate guidelines and shows readers what a “healthy plate” looks like. Children view examples of healthy foods in each food group, and then choose additional healthy options. The book contains a set of food Attachables™ to build a healthy meal on the back cover, as well as a glossary, Food Facts section, and teacher’s guide.
Cost:$39.95 for the Interactive Big Book and $30.00 for the Student Edition 6-packs
Ordering Info:By phone Toll Free: 800-227-9120; By fax: 800-737-3322; online: www.abramslearningtrends.com
Web Site:www.abramslearningtrends.com


A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material based substantially on MyPlate or 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Big Book provides many important MyPlate and DGA concepts, such as: “Fill half my plate with fruits/vegetables”; I drink milk and water instead of soda”; “At least half my grains are whole grains”; and “I don’t eat too much fat, sugar, or salt”.
B. Scope
Scope of information appropriate for target audience and essential topics discussed in appropriate detail.

There is no reference to the intended age group. The information is suitable for K-3rd, and topics were discussed in appropriate detail for this age group.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.

Page 1 of the Big Book introduces children to the basic ideas behind the objectives that are listed on page 3 of the Teacher’s Guide.
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.

Both the Big Book itself, and the Teacher’s Guide is extremely well-organized. Linear thinkers may appreciate the “Pacing Guide”, found in the Teacher’s Guide on page 9, closer to the front of the guide. The Pacing Guide provides time lines/expectations, and suggested sequences of activities. If placed in the front of the book, it could act as an intro/overview for teachers.
E. Accuracy
Information is accurate and recommendations current with content of MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
F. Learner Background
Material does not assume that reader has background information.

Progression of material is appropriate for those students new to MyPlate.
G. Learning Objectives
Learning objectives identifiable and met.

All four objectives listed/identified in the Teacher’s Guide are discussed/met by reading the Big Book.
H. Learning Activities, Projects, or Interactive Learning Tools
Material includes a variety of stimulating and interesting learning experiences, questions, projects, or suggestions for further action that will involve the reader.

The Teacher’s Guide provides a wonderful array of activities, learning experiences, questions and projects! The guide offers “Curriculum Connections”, providing strategies to deepen understanding of the material in other areas of study (math, social studies, art, etc).
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. No brand name promotion or obvious sponsor bias.
J. Inclusion of learning objectives, learner activities, instructional aids, lesson plans, evaluation component, identification of required instructional materials, web site with additional materials.
Material includes five or more of the above.

The inclusion of the 'Home School Connection' and a newsletter in English/Spanish add richness and depth to this curriculum. Many types of activities are offered: large group; small group; individual; outdoor activities, etc.
K. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.

Recipes not included/not appropriate for this age group. However, recipes could be considered as part of the “Home Connection” activity in future versions
L. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.
M. Instructional Resources
Instructor resources included with suggestions for enhancing the teaching process. Suggestions for follow-up learning activities/discussion questions included.

Excellent selection of teacher resources found in the Differentiated Instruction section of the Teacher’s Guide.
N. Credits, References and Resources (Including dates, publisher, etc.)
Current and complete credits, references, and resources listed.
O. Summary
All major ideas summarized or reviewed to reinforce key concepts; summaries easily identified.

In the Suggested Activity Sequence of the Teacher’s Guide, there is an opportunity in Week #2 (Large Group) to reread “What Should I Put on My Plate?” Key concepts will be reinforced through this re-reading activity.

A. Role Models
Not applicable.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Racial, ethnic, and religious groups are represented in a factual manner showing a variety of roles, occupations, and values.

The Big Book includes pictures of children of various racial backgrounds.
C. Different lifestyles and food patterns
Material emphasizes a variety of values, practices, and/or food patterns representative of different lifestyles, cultures, and socioeconomic levels.

Soy milk is offered as an alternative to milk; vegetarian options provided in the protein group; food allergies are discussed. Canned vegetables are not shown as an option, although showing the vegetables in their fresh state provides an opportunity for students to see veggies in their ‘natural’ state (a good thing).

Print Materials
A. Writing Style
Main ideas are clear and flow smoothly.

Nice progression of information; scaffolding.
B. Writing Approach
Writing approach is positive and personal. Active voice is used most of the time.

Use of verbiage such as “I eat…”, “ I try to…”, “I need…”
C. Vocabulary
Vocabulary used is appropriate for intended audience. Minimizes use of technical terms and if used, are defined.
D. Supportive Illustrations
All of the illustrations contribute to the material and are on the same page as their textual references. Tables and graphs are as simple and easy to read as possible. All information needed in graphs and tables is provided in a form requiring no further explanation.

Beautiful illustrations in the Big Book. Teacher’s Guide tables are easy to follow; very detailed and complete “Content and Process Skills” table.
E. Layout and Design
Color, design, and layout of material are attractive, and stimulate interest, without being too busy. There is good balance between print and blank space.

Excellent balance between print and blank space; not too busy; fun to look at!
F. Visual Quality
Paper weight used is heavy enough so that print from one side cannot be seen on the other side. Text is written in a font size that is easy to read, and the main body is not written in capital letters.

Paper weight heavy enough for long term use.
G. Headings/Cueing Devices
Clear headings are provided for each topic area. Cueing devices (shading, boxes, arrows, etc.) are used to direct attention to key points.

Shading/shadowing used for each food group. Colors used for each food group is appropriate for the group. Contrast in colors used to cue important information.
H. Approximate Reading Level
Reading level is at or below 5th grade level for low-literacy materials. Assessment method provided.

Material in Big Book is not meant for students to read themselves, but to read ‘along with’. Font is large enough for a small group of students (~5-7) to view/read along with. Assessment method: N/A.

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
The resource has a diverse selection of activities, including strategies for connecting MyPlate to other curricula; an easy to follow and in-depth Teacher’s Guide, and a bright and inviting Big Book. Very nice!
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
In future editions of the Teacher’s Guide, consider relocating the Pacing Guide to the front.
C. General Comments
This would be a great basis for teachers wanting to take MyPlate and connect it with other areas of science, beyond nutrition.
D. Overall Summary
Excellent resource for early ed teachers! There’s a wealth of information available that will make teaching MyPlate fun, engaging and relevant to their students.

Reviewer Rating
Any opinions expressed about any resource in this web site (either expressly or implied) are solely and completely the responsibility of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Highly Recommended

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