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Review of:

The Power of 3: Get Healthy with Whole Grain Foods

Image courtesy of:
University of Minnesota Extension Service
Producer:University of Minnesota Extension Service
Date Produced:February 2006
  • Curriculum
  • Educational Campaign
  • Newsletter
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
  • Middle School (9-12 yrs)
  • Grains/Whole Grains
Description:Three component, 5 lesson school-based curriculum designed to increase intake of whole grain foods by elementary school children
Cost:Free download
Web Site:http://www.extension.umn.edu/nutrition/power3.pdf


A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material incorporates and uses some concepts in MyPlate or the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

This curriculum focuses on encouraging individuals to consume at least 3 servings of whole grain foods each day.
B. Scope
Scope of information appropriate for target audience and essential topics discussed in appropriate detail.

This three-component curriculum provides materials for students (5 lessons), parents, and school foodservice personnel. Includes a series of outstanding activities to reinforce concepts.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.

Excellent "cover sheet" is the first page on this web-based curriculum; allows easy access to the parts you are interested in and provides excellent overview.
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.

Some information is redundant as it is laid out for both teachers/students, parents, and/or school foodservice personnel. However, if you were only looking at one of these three sections, you wouldn't know that. In this case redundancy is appropriate.
E. Accuracy
Information is accurate and recommendations current with content of MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The authors will need to update Lesson 5 about the 5 A Day program beginning this fall when the brand changes to "Fruits and Veggies: More Matters".
F. Learner Background
Material does not assume that reader has background information.

Provides excellent fundamentals.
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.

Several fun activities for students; good newsletters for parents. The pre-tests, however, seem too long and arduous for this grade level.
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.

There are pictures of Triscuits and Cheerios and the mention of several specific brand items on the grocery store tour handout and throughout the text, however.
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)
No recipes are included.
L. Recipes (if included)
Recipes include a nutrient analysis per serving for the following nutrients listed on the nutrition label: kcal, macronutrients, trans fats, cholesterol, dietary fiber and sodium. If for a low-income audience, a cost analysis is included.

There are not many recipes in this curriculum; lesson 4 has two recipes that include partial nutrition analysis; the parent newsletter has one recipe with no 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
Not applicable.

Curriculum uses animated characters as the 'hosts'; there are no real people included.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Not applicable.

There are several examples of grains used by various cultures around the globe.
C. Different lifestyles and food patterns
Material reflects, but does not emphasize, a variety of values, practices, and/or food patterns representative of different lifestyles, cultures, and socioeconomic levels.

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.

I must say if I was a cafeteria manager and I read the section geared toward the foodservice personnel, I would be scared from trying to implement the curriculum; perhaps they were 'too honest', telling many negative aspects of introducing whole grains, describing how difficult it is to get recipes right, how a plate waste study should be conducted if money is an issue, how the foods taste bitter to many kids and adding chocolate chips or sprinkles to the surface might make the kids more willing to try the foods, etc. I found it dreary and depressing. Be POSITIVE! Be ENCOURAGING!
C. Vocabulary
Vocabulary used is appropriate for intended audience. Minimizes use of technical terms and if used, are defined.
D. Supportive Illustrations
Illustrations are related to the material in some way. Most tables and graphs are as simple and easy to read as possible. In most tables and graphs, information is provided in a form requiring no further explanation.
E. Layout and Design
Color, design, and layout are distracting; too much print on the page.

I was disappointed in the appearance -- it could have been made to look so much more professional (from print font selection to page borders and layout). The hand drawn smiley faces were distracting. At least draw them on the computer, not with a pen on your final copy.
F. Visual Quality

Not applicable--is web-based. The user prints it on their own paper.
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 6th, 7th or 8th grade level.

Web Sites
A. Currentness of Information
Web site information is current; there are no broken hyperlinks.

Monitor the 5 A Day web site as it will become www.morematters.com in the near future.
B. Readability
Text size is adequate for viewing. Good contrast between text and background.
C. Navigation
Navigation through the web site is logical and aided by navigation buttons and a site map or search tool.

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
Activities are GREAT! Good parental involvement through newsletters, joint activities, and after-school opportunities. Focuses on the Social Cognitive Model. Provides comprehensive lessons, handouts, and ancillary materials and web sites. Focuses on a critical issue in children's diets.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
Surveys appear too lengthy and the actual purpose unclear (e.g., wording -- do you HAVE the food in your house or do you EAT the food?) Surveys between children and adults are not parallel; that surprised me. The graphics could truly be enhanced with additional funding...this curriculum is not 'pretty'.
C. General Comments
I would supplement some of the cautious warnings in the foodservice section with more uplifting, positive information...but overall I would strongly encourage schools to adopt this curriculum. There are great ideas included for teachers, parents and school foodservice personnel.
D. Overall Summary
A winner.

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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