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Welcome to Balancing Food & Play

Educators at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension developed Balancing Food & Play (3rd thru 5th grade) curriculum to address children’s health issues by developing lifelong healthy behaviors through nutrition, physical activity, and family engagement.

The curriculum which is based on the principles of the MyPlate Food Guidance System and the Social Cognitive Model:

  • Targets early childhood health habits.
  • Provides youth the opportunity to learn about nutrition and physical activity in an engaging and exciting way.
  • Expands creativity in the classroom, home kitchen and playground.

Key Learning Concepts

The curriculum has four educational goals aimed at promoting good nutrition and healthy weight among school age children:

  1. Reinforce the importance of at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
  2. Encourage limiting screen time to 2 hours or less.
  3. Promote increased daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Encourage drinking milk with meals and water with snacks.

Curriculum components include:

  • 20 lesson plans with classroom powerpoints, which require minimum teacher preparation time;
  • TEKS summary charts;
  • student journals; and
  • 4 take-home newsletters and recipe cards.

Lessons are designed to last 45-60 minutes and incorporate current health, physical activity, writing, ELAR and Math Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) when possible.

Lesson plans follow a teacher-friendly format with accompanying student journal activities that help students to review information, develop and practice learning skills, self-assess, and record behavior goals.

The take-home newsletter and recipe introduce children to the Green family. The Green family learns about nutrition, physical activity, and goal setting from Jasmine, who is a 3rd grade student.

Appreciation is expressed to the elementary school teacher, Alice Fraley, who assisted in the 2020 curriculum revisions and to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service staff supporting implementation of this curriculum.