Feeding Your Superhero: Teaching Nutrition Through Creative Movement

Munch n’ Move #5 by guest Joanie Johnson from Motivated Nutrition. You will love this lesson! You can can take it directly to your classrooms and use it! Enjoy!

Motivated Nutrition had the honor of being a guest teacher this week at PS261 for Wellness Week. I taught over 80, K-2nd graders the importance of choosing healthy snacks with a creative movement based workshop. I wanted to share it with the Maria’s Movers community in hopes that you will spread the word about healthy eating to your students as well. You are more than welcome to use my class plan. I only ask that you email me to tell me how it went and what other ideas you have for improvement! If anyone wants a copy of the healthy snack hand-out, please contact me at joanie(at) motivatednutrition(dot)net or if you want to bring the program to your studio or classroom, I’m happy to come as a guest to give a nutrition based class or workshop for you and your students!

Lesson:
Warm- up – Learn names, give every child a chance to share their favorite healthy fruit or vegetable.

Introduce Concept: What is Energy?
* Energy – Power, Effort, Force, the ability to do Work, Fuel

* What would your life be like if you never ran out of energy? We’d be like superheros!

* What things in our lives give us energy? Healthy foods, sleep, friends, family, fun activities.

Where is your energy right NOW? (Working with Shaping/Levels/Speed)
* Low energy- Low shape on the floor
* Medium energy- Mid level Shape
* High Energy- High level Shape

Create: Superhero Dance (giving a movement action guide and asking the children for choreography ideas)

8 counts of sleeping superhero’s, 8 counts of morning stretching, 8 counts of eating breakfast, 8 counts of putting on superhero costumes, 8 counts of powering up, 32 counts of fighting crime, 8 counts of exhaustion and melting to the floor

Discuss: BAD Foods for our Superhero
* Bad foods that can decrease our energy: Sugar, candy, cakes, cookies, caffeine, soda, energy drinks, surgery cereals, processed foods (foods that come in bags, boxes, LOTS of ingredients and things you can’t pronounce

* Name some
* These foods give us a quick energy boost followed by a crashing super hero. They actually take minerals and nutrients AWAY from our bodies. These foods are our evil villains

MOVE: Superhero Dance: After eating the “Evil Villain” for breakfast
Low energy, moping, dragging, heavy bodies, huffing, puffing, crawling, collapse on the floor after dance

Music: A selection written in a minor key or something slow, twangy, dragging, sad, scary

DISCUSS: GOOD Foods for our Super Hero
* WHOLE FOODS: grains, vegetables and beans. They are foods that have not been processed and have ALL of their original, natural state: fiber, vitamins and minerals. Processing removes these elements.

* Name some

MOVE: Super Hero Dance: After eating a healthy breakfast
High energy, big jumps, arms stretching wide, controlled balance, strong bodies, etc.

Music: A major key, high energy, fast tempo, techno, pop

Super Hero Healthy Snacks Handout:
* Pass out, discuss healthy snack options they could choose after school or to pack in their lunche
* Cool down and Stretch

Healthy Success Circle
* What was the most important thing we learned today?
* What was your personal success today?

I feel so strongly about incorporating nutrition education into movement and dance classes. I am seeing more and more children that are overweight and childhood diabetes is being diagnosed more frequently. The eating habits they have now are going to affect them for the rest of their lives. Please start talking to your students about food and nutrition. If you already are, please share what you have been teaching!

Read other Munch n’ Move posts here.

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