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Running head: CHOOSE MY PLATE

Kallie LaForest
Choose My Plate
Course #25966
Dr. Hesse
March 28, 2016




The saying, you are what you eat, should be encouraging Americans to second guess their daily consumption of highly
processed food with low nutritional value. Instead of focusing on their health, many Americans are either accepting their weight, or
going on diets that focus on weight loss, instead of a balanced diet full of the nutrition. Americans need to seriously reconsider their
diet, due to the significant quantity of research that supports the saying. According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the obesity
rate is seventy-two percent of men and sixth-four percent of women are overweight or obese. Adults have the


power to gather research and figure out how to eat healthy. Unfortunately, our youth have not been
empowered to take control of their health. To help students eat a healthier, teachers can use tools like the
Super food tracking tool. This tool can be used to help collect data and set goals to improve the diet of
children and work towards best meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and compare the students
diet with the requirements of the National Standards for School Meals.
National Standards for School Meals
To help curb the effects of unhealthy eating habits of children a guideline for school lunches was created in 2012. This
guideline is called the National Standards for in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. According to the
standards, schools must provide lunches that contain the following meal components: fruits, vegetables with limited starchy
vegetables, whole grains, and fat free and unflavored low-fat milk. The standards also require schools to gradually decrease the
sodium content of the meals to meet the ten year target level. School meals also must be prepared with or contain trans-fat (Nutrition
Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, 2012). This guideline was designed to gradually help provide
healthy lunches for all youth.
From observations of the schools breakfast and lunch, along with the monthly lunch menu, I believe that Stetson Hills
Elementary meets the requirements of the National Standards for School Meals. The lunch menu promotes the importance of eating
breakfast to help children concentrate. All of the breakfast options include an entre, fruit, cold milk and one-hundred percent fruit


juice. The breakfast entre options include a warm-Turkey or ham, egg and cheese sandwich, warm whole grain Honey Bun, cereal
with string cheese, etc. The Dutch waffles are the only breakfast option that does not clearly follow the national standards in the
National School Lunch and School Breakfast, because it does not contain whole grains. The only breakfast option that contains protein
is the breakfast sandwich. This follows the guideline, but during the previous month this breakfast sandwich was not offered.
On the schools menu they have a blub about the importance of eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables and their
menu includes a variety of different vegetables offered throughout the month. Some of the variety
includes romaine salad, carrot sticks, corn, broccoli, cucumber and beans. The menus promotion and
variety of vegetables aligns with the national standards requirement of offering specific vegetable
subgroups. The school menu for a month only includes two days of starchy vegetables, which aligns with
the requirement to limit these types of vegetables. For lunch the school has a daily self-serve fruit and vegetable bar for
the students to add in addition to their side dishes. The milk options for both lunch and breakfast follow the guidelines by offering
non-fat white and chocolate milk. The schools menu does not identify any of the lunches as having whole grains, but from observation
and talking with students and teachers, I found out that on pizza Friday the pizza in made from whole grain dough. After comparing
the menu, and observations it is clear that Stetson Hills Elementary is meeting the requirements of providing fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, meat or meat alternative and fat-free milk. Despite offering health food that is meeting the guidelines, I observed many
students do not eat all of the components of the meal.


Dietary Guidelines for Americans

In 2010 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was published to education and promote healthy eating patterns for Americans.
To first part of the guideline focuses on maintaining a healthy weight through a balance between calorie intake and physical activity
(Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010). A child consuming the breakfast and lunch from school, could meet this guideline, but
based on the student that I based a food tracker on this is unlikely to happen. I based the Food Tracker off of one of the 6th graders that
I work with and I calculated a MyPlate Daily Checklist based on this student to find out his appropriate Daily Food Plan. According to
his estimated age, height, weight, and sex, the student should be eating 1800 calories a day. Based on the food tracker, this student was
on his way to meeting his daily checklist. Through consuming breakfast and lunch at school this student meet his goal of 6 ounces of
grain but more than half were refined instead of whole grains. The student only had one fourth cups of the recommended 2 and a half
cups of vegetables. He did eat 2 out of 2 cups of fruits, and he consumed 2 and one fourth of the recommended 3 cups of dairy. He did
not eat any of the recommended amount of 5 and a half ounces of protein. This tracker did not take into consideration of the sweets
and sugary drinks that he has often, but not daily. Also, it did not take into account of the fluctuating diet of the student; just like many
students, this student is a picky eater, so depending on the specific food of the day impacts how close he is to eating a balanced diet.
Another aspect of the guidelines is to focus on eating foods that contain a high nutritious value (Dietary Guidelines for
Americans, 2010). This student did not consume a variety of nutrient dense foods. The only vegetable that he ate was a salad, because


it had salad dressing, so he did not eat a variety. He met the amount of fruit, but half of it came from the fruit juice. He eats the mixed
fruit, but is he eats limited types of fruit.
The third aspect of the guidelines is to decrease the sugars, high-sodium, and refined foods (Dietary Guidelines for Americans,
2010). According to just the school breakfast and lunch that was tracked he was well within the guidelines. He consumed fourteen
grams of sugar out of the fifty ounce limit. He also ate nine grams of saturated fat out of his limit of twenty-two grams, while he only
had 1,224 milligrams of sodium out his 2,300 milligram limit. This tracker showed the possibility of decreasing the consumption of
sugars, sodium and refined foods. It is possible that this student could meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but it would depend
on his access to sweets and his dinner.
Nutritional Improvements
The changes that I would make to improve the food the student at Stetson Hills eat to improve their nutritional intake, would
be based on collecting data. I would collect two types of data. One thing I would collect is percentage of students that actually
consume the vegetables and fruits, with a focus on comparing the popularity of the various types offered. This would show which
fruits and vegetables that should be offered more frequently to improve the frequency of the student consumption of nutrient rich
foods. To help this I would also conduct surveys to find out what fruits and vegetables the students like to eat. This would allow me to
see if there are better options beyond the current variation. This survey could also help to find out if the way the vegetables are


prepared impacts the students willingness to eat them. There might be many students who would eat cooked carrots and broccoli, but
arent eating the current options, because they are raw.
Adapting to the students taste is important, but the breakfast options are full of sugar and all but one lack protein. I would add
heartier options for breakfast so the food is providing sustained energy not just the quick release of energy that sugar provides. I would
offer omelets as an option. Omelets would offer a choice that would contain the protein from eggs, while it could contain more protein
if it had meat. The school is offering a one-hundred percent fruit slush with breakfast, which is great option to add more fruit. I would
offer this more than once a month. I would also alternate between offering the waffles and honey bun, so there would only be one of
these higher sugar and processed carbohydrate options.
It is important to have days that offer vegetarian options beyond the daily peanut butter and jelly sandwich or Italian salad, but
on those days there still should be some option for the students to choose to add protein. This was the problem with the meal that was
choosing for the Food Tracker. The day that macaroni and cheese is on the menu, it comes with a breadstick, carrot sticks and assorted
fruit. Because of this the student went the entire school day without consuming protein. There could be a side option to add chicken or
ham. These changes would help the students diet become balanced and nutrient rich, not just the menu.




As a future educator the activity of having the student track what they eat could be very beneficial for the student to not just
hear about what they should be eating. This tool was initially hard to picture the applicability to use in the classroom setting. It felt
like one of those apps that allow the user to just add what they eat and it adds it all up. These are purposeless, because they lack pre
active of having a goal, so when I have done them in the past I feel guilty about the unhealthy food I ate, but accepted that I do not eat
healthy. As soon as I realized that they have a survey to choose a daily checklist to fit individual needs. This is essential because it
proposes a realistic daily goal that can be worked toward. It allows the student to see where they are, but gives them the opportunity to
see where they are and where they want to be. Having a clear goal is important to help motivate change.
Utilizing the MyPlate Daily Checklist and Food Tracker allows the students to become self-aware of their diet. This is the first
step to being able to purposefully talk about the importance and impact a diet has on a person. When the students learn about nutrition,
they will have the power to not only self-reflect, but understand that they can begin making active choices to want to choose healthier
This tool also helps connect physical activity to diet. This concept helps to being awareness to children that their bodies are
machines that have needs. This tool is beneficial, but teachers not only need to implement it they need to use as a jumping off point to
help the students and staff to develop healthy habits.



Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (2010, January). Retrieved October 25, 2015, from
Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. (2012).
Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, 77(17). Retrieved March 28 2016, from
Super Tracker. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2016, from
The ChooseMyPlate Daily Checklist. (2013, October 31). Retrieved from




Points (5) Exemplary




Introduction was well organized and

created a plan for the paper
One breakfast and one lunch (or 2
restaurant options) were evaluated
Results reflect a hypothetical student
Screen shot was included

Points (3) Proficient

Contained a very detailed application of

National Standards for School Meals
Contains very detailed applications of
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Contains very detailed discussions for 3
changes to improve nutrition

Contained a somewhat detailed application of

National Standards for School Meals
Contained somewhat detailed applications of
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Contains somewhat detailed discussions only
2 changes to improve nutrition

Contained little detail on the application of Nati

Standards for School Meals
Contained little detail on the application of Diet
Guidelines for Americans
Contained little detail or only included 1 change
improve nutrition

A summary of the current state of the

schools nutrition was included
Summary of changes were included
A detailed reflection regarding how this
teacher knowledge of students impacts
your students inside and outside your
Proper grammar and punctuation is used
throughout the proposal
All sentences are clear & developed
Paper was at least 3 pages with standard
margins, font, & text size

A summary of the current state of the school

in terms of nutrition was included
but did not align with paper

A summary of the proposed changes was

included but did not align with paper

A general reflection of how this data impacts
your students
Most grammar and correct punctuation is
used throughout the proposal
Most sentences are clear & developed

Paper was 1-3 pages with standard margins,

font, and size of text

A summary of the current state of the school in

of nutrition was not included
A summary of the proposed changes was not in
A reflection of the practical data as it relates to
classroom was missing or incomplete

Application of results
and proposed changes




Introduction was disorganized and did not creat

plan for the paper
Only one breakfast or lunch (or 1 restaurant opt
was evaluated but was incomplete
Results did not reflect a hypothetical student
Screen shot was not included

Introduction was somewhat organized and

created a plan for the paper
Only one breakfast or lunch (or 1 restaurant
option) was evaluated
Results reflected a hypothetical student, but
not enough information was provided
Screen shot was included, but incomplete

Points (1) Needs Improvement

Many grammar and correct punctuation issues a

found throughout the proposal
Many sentences are not clear and underdevelop
Paper was less than 1 page in length with larger
standard margins, font text size

Referencing Style

APA style referencing used throughout

paper and on the reference sheet
The file document name contains
This rubric was attached

APA style referencing mostly used throughout

the paper and on the reference sheet with

some errors

The file name somewhat contains the

This rubric was added but not at the end

Many errors in APA style referencing throughou

paper and on the reference sheet
The file document name does not contain the
This rubric was not added to the document