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Review of:

MyPlate Nutrition Education Kit for Head Start

Image courtesy of:
Child Safety Solutions, Inc. & Slim Goodbody Corp.
Producer:Child Safety Solutions, Inc. & Slim Goodbody Corp.
Date Produced:January 2012
  • Booklet
  • Fact Sheet
  • Flyer
  • Game
  • Poster
  • Curriculum
  • Early Childhood (2-5 yrs)
  • General Nutrition
  • MyPlate/DGA Training
  • Eating Patterns
  • Portion Sizes
  • Vegetarian Diets
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Grains/Whole Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Protein
Description:Teaching nutrition based on the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines has never been easier. Even if you have students who have food allergies and sensitivities. Even if you have students who are vegetarians or vegans. This time-saving curriculum kit is keyed to Head Start Performance Standards and offers flexible activities and lessons that make it easy to integrate into existing programs. Specifically, this kit it is designed to help meet Head Start Regulations 1340.21, 1304.23 and 1304.40. The 5-2-1-0 message is also incorporated into the MyPlate Teacher’s Guide, Teaching Cards, Parent Tip Sheet and Paint Activity Sheet (5-servings of fruits and vegetables per day; 2-no more than two hours of screen time; 1-at least one hour of physical activity; 0-zero sugary drinks and sodas).
Language:Spanish take home materials and teaching tools are available.
Ordering Info:Please call 1-877-669-7233, ext. 205
Web Site:http://www.imsafe.com/product/11-4000-myplate-nutrition-education-kit-head-start


A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material based substantially on MyPlate or 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
B. Scope
Scope of information appropriate for target audience and essential topics discussed in appropriate detail.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.

Objectives clearly stated for each lesson, as is purpose for each component of kit .
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.
E. Accuracy
Information contains minor inaccuracies.

The information is generally accurate and reliable with a few noted minor inaccuracies. In the Teacher’s Guide, the term “serving” is substituted for the MyPlate term “equivalent”. Five “servings” of fruits and vegetables is recommended, which is appropriate for most yet just shy of the MyPlate recommended amount of 3 to 3 1/2 cups for some 3-5 year olds. The variation from using cups to servings to simplify the message is clearly and accurately explained in the guide, and the goal of 5 servings is consistent with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. The feeding Tiny Teddy activity using food group squares for servings is confusing without a comparative explanation to MyPlate. Corn is incorrectly identified as a grain in the food cards. In the Feel Great with MyPlate Paint Sheet take home activity, 2 cups of dairy is incorrectly referenced for preschool age, but is correctly referenced as 2 ½ cups daily.
F. Learner Background
Material does not assume that reader has background information.
G. Learning Objectives
Learning objectives identifiable and met.
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 kit includes many creative and meaningful lesson plans, 5 and 15 minute learning activities, parent educational materials and take-home student activities, in a variety of stimulating and fun formats, including artwork, games, songs, pictures, stories, discussion topics, suggested food tastings, and group activities that activities such as simulated grocery shopping and physical activity.
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. Company name may be mentioned but product name is not contained in text or illustrations.

Additional company materials advertised on back cover. A brand name product package can be visually recognized as one of the teaching cards, although no specific brands named.
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.
K. Recipes (if included)
Overall, recipes are compatible with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

One take-home snack recipe included. Foods for tasting in classroom and a Family Food and Fun Night suggested menus are compatible with Dietary Guidelines.
L. Recipes (if included)
Recipes do not include any nutrient analysis.
M. Instructional Resources
Instructor resources included with suggestions for enhancing the teaching process. Suggestions for follow-up learning activities/discussion questions included.
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.

A. Role Models
Positive role models are provided in text and illustrations. Role models presented as having many roles, traits, and emotions.

One main super hero character. Few illustrations with other characters or role models and represented positively and with some diversity.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Racial, ethnic, and religious groups are represented in a factual manner showing a variety of roles, occupations, and values.

One main super hero character. Few illustrations with other characters or role models and represented positively and with some diversity.
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.

Material includes extensive and relevant discussion of food allergies and intolerances, as well as vegetarian and vegan concerns. Alternative foods, activities, and sources of further information and resources are suggested. Take-home student activity materials are provided in English and Spanish.

Print Materials
A. Writing Style
Main ideas are clear and flow smoothly.
B. Writing Approach
Writing approach is positive and personal. Active voice is used most of the time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
H. Approximate Reading Level
Reading level is at or below 5th grade level for low-literacy materials. Assessment method provided.

Parent materials are written at third and fourth grade levels, as noted by authors. Reading level not formally assessed. Teacher’s Guide reading level is appropriate, as are student materials.

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
Complete, logical, and well-conceived curriculum with young children and their families, the preschool teacher and environment, and the Head Start requirements in mind. The Quick Start Guidelines help prepare teachers ahead of time, with virtually all needs and planning and implementation steps anticipated and outlined. From food allergies and vegetarian considerations, to bilingual materials, to incorporation of food tasting/exposure and fun learning experiences, the curriculum addresses methods and concerns of teaching nutrition and encouraging development of healthy eating habits. The Guidelines present many flexible ideas and alternative approaches to teaching nutrition, engaging diverse learners, and involving parents within the time, budget and setting constraints often encountered in education.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
Clarify minor inaccuracies upon revision.
C. General Comments
Supports several Head Start Standards for nutrition, parent involvement, child development and education.
D. Overall Summary
A comprehensive educational kit with realistic goals and supporting activities that Head Start teachers and other early childhood educators and caregivers can easily and inexpensively implement. A resource that will not sit on the shelf.

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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