During the course of a Food Education and Nutrition Unit, the teacher interjected a lesson called, “INFORMED DECISION MAKING.” Students learned that, with more information about a topic, they were able to make a more “informed decision.” The class applied this idea to making choices about food. Based on what they had seen their friends eat, they decided many students weren’t well informed about healthy foods and were therefore making unhealthy choices about snacks and meals.
To further investigate the issue, the students held group “go-arounds” where they traveled together from table to table responding to a question related to the problem (i.e. What did you eat for snack?). Students conducted surveys of their peer’s meals and invited the school nurse into class to discuss the affects of eating unhealthy foods on the body. This research confirmed the student’s thoughts that people were not informed about healthy foods, leading them to make bad choices.
The students brainstormed and voted on possible solutions to the problem and decided to hold a Healthy Foods Fair. Students made an action plan by working backwards from the date of the fair. They created brochures, posters, a recipe book, and healthy snacks, to distribute that day. During this process, students kept journals where they wrote about their nutritional observations about themselves and their classmates. They also advertised the fair in the newspaper. The fair was visited by students from 17 classes and adults working throughout the building.
After the fair, students asked other classes to take a survey regarding their food choices at snack time. After one week of surveying, students in participating classes graphed their results. The class that made the healthiest choices won a prize. This process helped evaluate how student food choices were positively influenced by the information distributed at the Healthy Food Fair.