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Review of:

Nutrition Literacy Toolkit

Producer:Colorado Department of Education
Date Produced:September 2005
  • Web Site
  • Curriculum Planning Tool for incorporating 2005 DGA and MyPyramid
  • Early Childhood (2-5 yrs)
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
  • Middle School (9-12 yrs)
  • High School (13-18 yrs)
  • General Consumer
  • Professionals
  • Low-Literacy
  • General Nutrition
  • Weight Management
  • Health at Every Size
  • Physical Activity
  • Meal Planning
  • Eating Patterns
  • Portion Sizes
  • Vegetarian Diets
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Food Safety
  • Grains/Whole Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Protein
  • Fats and Oils
  • Carbohydrates
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Sodium and Potassium
  • Calories
  • Vitamins and Minerals
Description:The Nutrition Literacy Toolkit is perfect for teachers who want to make their nutrition curriculum dynamic and relevant. The numerous resources and web sites provide quick and easy links to easily accessible materials. Teachers from different departments or schools can collaborate and coordinate interdisciplinary nutrition lessons. Resource selection can be customized to match individual teaching styles and maximize the limited amount of classroom time for nutrition education. The Nutrition Literacy Toolkit ensures that teachers are teaching to the latest version of the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans/MyPyramid and National School Health Education Standards. It is a perfect tool for:
Selecting scientifically sound resources that are dynamic and relevant
Teaching to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans/MyPyramid
Aligning lessons with the National School Health Education Standards
Maximizing the limited amount of classroom time for nutrition education
Identifying curriculum enhancing tools such as displays, promotions and audio visuals
Language:The nutrition resource list notes if resources are available in Spanish
Cost:No-cost and cost resources are listed and if there is a cost it is noted in the resource list.
Ordering Info:Ordering information and web site, if available at the time of publication is listed in the educaitional resource list.
Web Site:http://www.cde.state.co.us/nltk/default.asp
Comments:This document was developed based on the needs assessment information from K-12 classroom teachers


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

The authors have used materials developed in the last five years. In instances where references are made to materials that have not been updated for the 2005 Dietary Guidelines or MyPyramid, the authors have made a note of that.
B. Scope
Scope of information appropriate for target audience and essential topics discussed in appropriate detail.

The web site uses the technology well to help identify resources and develop curriculum based on target population and learning outcomes. Additional resources and links are listed on the sidebar to provide more comprehensive information to the users.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.

The authors clearly state that this is not a curriculum but a tool kit to develop and design curricula.
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.

The material is well organized but requires good web navigation skills. To facilitate easy navigation, the authors provide brief and clear instructions for each step.
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.

The website provides resources and links where a user could obtain background information. It also does an excellent job of providing information on local demographics (for the state of Colorado) to help select priority target groups and issues. If this web site was to be used by other states, the user would have the option of either using guidelines for general population or use their own State/local statistics to define their priority population. Once a user has selected a population group, the web site then presents a number of relevant key concepts from the 2005 Dietary guidelines for the user to choose from.
G. Learning Objectives
Not applicable.
H. Learning Activities, Projects, or Interactive Learning Tools
Not applicable.
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. No brand name promotion or obvious sponsor bias.

The authors have used both private and public domain resources from a wide variety of reputable organizations.
J. Inclusion of learning objectives, learner activities, instructional aids, lesson plans, evaluation component, identification of required instructional materials, web site with additional materials.
Not applicable.
K. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.
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.

The web-based Nutrition Literacy Toolkit provides resources at different levels along with additional resources for teachers on the side bar. For example, Tips for Teaching Nutrition are great for a new or a seasoned nutrition teacher.
N. Credits, References and Resources (Including dates, publisher, etc.)
Current and complete credits, references, and resources listed.

The authors have done a tremendous job getting all the resources together and linking them to learning outcomes for specific target groups. As with any web-based resource, to keep people coming back to the site, they will have to make sure they keep all the links up to date.
O. Summary
All major ideas summarized or reviewed to reinforce key concepts; summaries easily identified.

A good introduction at the beginning of each step summarizes what the outcome will be for each page. The introduction helps to keep the user in control of what they want, for which groups, and so on.

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

The web pages flow very clearly from one page to the next with clear, concise and easy to follow guidelines.
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
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
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 9th grade level or above.

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

At this point I did not find any missing links. It will be important for the authors to make sure all links stay current - which would not be an easy job given the large number of links used.
B. Readability
Text size is adequate for viewing. Good contrast between text and background.

The page layout is easy to read. The text size and placement keep the page clean. The only pages I found crowded were some of the final resource pages with ordering information etc. There is just such a wealth of information that I commend the authors for keeping it easy to read and use.
C. Navigation
Navigation through the web site is logical and aided by navigation buttons and a site map or search tool.

It is easy to navigate the web site. However, for someone not used to using web-based resources, it can be a bit overwhelming. My suggestions would be to try a few times with simple and few options at each level till you get comfortable.

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
Excellent use of technology to help develop nutrition curricula based on current recommendations.

Great selection of resources from private and public sites and organizations.

The web site walks you through the various steps involved in curriculum development - starting with identifying target audience, messages to be delivered, desired outcome, and suggestions of materials to use. It also provides the users ordering information, price, etc. It encourages the user to use a more comprehensive approach to nutrition education by using a coordinated school health approach and provided tools for that.

B. Points that Could Be Improved:
For an individual who is not used to using web, it might be a bit overwhelming because a lot of information is provided and it is for the user to narrow it down to exactly what they are looking for. The web site does provide a variety of resources from games, audio-visual materials, curricula, and lesson plans. But the user has to go through a process to select what is most appropriate. This is not a web site for someone looking for a quick lesson plans to teach from.
C. General Comments
The developers of the web site (Toolkit) have done an excellent job of bringing together a variety of resources that can be used for teaching nutrition to youth, based on the current dietary guidelines and MyPyramid, and placing them in the hands of front line nutrition educators. The web site guides the user to identify resources for developing curricula that meet specific population needs.
D. Overall Summary
The web site is intended to be used to develop curricula and does a real nice job of helping identify and tailor nutrition topics for the target population through a series of menu driven web pages. The authors have aligned learning outcomes in the Toolkit with Colorado core standards for reading, writing, math, and physical education which will help classroom teachers and/or resource teachers to tie the nutrition education piece to the State's core standards. Very well put together web based toolkit.

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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