Here is the second installment of ideas for incorporating health programming into your overall library programming strategy. Look for us on the first of each month to find programming ideas for 3 months out. March is National Nutrition Month®, and the American Dietetic Association’s 2011 theme is “Eat Right with Color.” Adding color – especially green – to your library will be easy with these great resources:
- Quick and Easy: printables and programming ideas
- Featured Resources: nutrition books, movies, and websites
- Book Club: book and movie discussion group ideas and resources
- Tie Ins: to Readers Theater and St. Patrick’s Day
- Community Resources: local nutrition resources and also local nutrition efforts
- Publicity Resources: press releases, widgets, and more
- Fun Stuff: fun, interactive nutrition links
Printable Activities, Coloring Pages, and Bookmarks and also a few Quick and Easy Programming Ideas for Children and Teens:
Printable Activities to Use with Picture Books
- The only thing more fun than The Runaway Garden by Jeffrey Schatzer is the full color Activity Guide with vegetable songs, coloring pages, activity pages, and more.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a story time classic. After you share the story discuss fruit and nutrition with a Very Hungry Caterpillar Coloring Sheet, a Booklet to make and color, or Story Cards (p. 9).
Other Printable Activities for Children
- Fruit Coloring Page
- Vegetable Coloring Page
- Fruit Mini Book
- USDA Food Pyramid Activity Sheet for Preschoolers
- USDA Food Pyramid Activity Sheet for Older Kids
- Nutrition is Fun (Color)
- Nutrition is Fun (to Color)
- Two-Sided USDA Food Pyramid Bookmarks for Preschoolers
Programming Ideas for Children and Teens
- Make a Food Pyramid Necklace or Bracelet
- Play Nutrition Bingo with Custom Bingo Cards
- Do a Twist on Tag and Play Veggie Tag
- Host Your Own Food Fear Factor
- Throw a Nutrition Trivia Night with These Great Nutrition Trivia Questions
Nutrition Book Reviews, More Nutrition Books, Ready Reference Web Sites, and Interactive Websites for all ages.
- from the American Dietetic Association by registered dietitians
Books for Every Age
- Nutrition Books for Children
- Nutrition Books for Older Children and Teens
- ADA Recommended Books for Adults
- ADA Recommended E-Books for Adults
Ready Reference Online
- American Dietetic Association: “food and nutrition information you can trust”
- Feeding America: Find a local food bank for someone in need or someone who wants to volunteer.
- The Food Timeline : What did the Pilgrims eat at the first Thanksgiving? When was ice cream invented? What is plum pudding? Don’t be stumped. If you don’t find your answer here, someone at The Food Timeline will answer your question for free.
Interactive Web Sites for Every Age
- MyPyramid Plan for Your Preschoolers: where parents can create a customized eating plan for their preschoolers.
- Zis Boom Bah: where “It’s ok to play with your food!”
- Best Bones Forever: where girls and their BFFs can “grow strong together and stay strong forever!”
- Food and Nutrition at BAM!: where kids and teens can “separate food fact from food fiction to look good and feel fabulous.”
- Papaya Head: where parents can plan meals, enter and analyze their recipes, find recipes, and create shopping lists based on their custom profile.
- MyPyramid: where anyone can create their own food pyramid and eating plan based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Observe National Nutrition Month® this March by choosing one of these nutrition related books or movies for your Teen or Adult book or movie discussion group:
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, 2007. Discussion Guide, Adults
- Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food by Charles Wilson and Eric Schlosser, 2006. Discussion Guide, Grades 9-12.
- Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by Eric Schlosser, 2001. Discussion Guide, Adults
- In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan, 2009. Discussion Guide, Adults
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, 2007. Discussion Guide, Grades 9-12, Adults
- Twinkie Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined) and Manipulated into What America Eats by Steve Ettlinger, 2008. Discussion Guide, Grades 9-12
- Fast Food Nation, 2007. A drama based on the bestselling book with the same title. Discussion Guide
- Super Size Me, 2004. What happens when one man eats nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days? Discussion Guide
“Teach Reading by Putting on a Play.” Readers theater is a fun way for kids to perform without having to memorize. Kids love it, and it has been shown to improve reading skills and fill emotional needs. Kids can write their own scripts, but many are already published, including “Snack Attack” by Cara Bafile, written for 3rd-6th graders and perfect for National Nutrition Month®.
St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day and National Nutrition Month® naturally go together since practically every green food is good for you. Incorporating nutrition into children’s activities at your library will be easy with these resources:
- “Luck of the Vegetable” bookmarks (color)
- “Lucky Green Vegetable” bookmarks (to color)
- “Lucky Food Pyramid” coloring sheet
- “Kid’s Fun St. Patrick’s Day Healthy Green Fruits and Vegetables Activity Page.”
- Find a local ADA registered dietitian or spokesperson to present at your library.
- Join the Hunger Action Center to help start solving the problem of hunger in your community.
- Hold a Food for Fines Week at your library. For each canned good participants bring in, forgive $1.00 in fines. Then take the donations to a local food bank. Feeding America’s website makes finding one easy. And a customizable press release provided by Gale’s Health and Wellness Resource Center (see Press Releases below) will make your “Food for Fines” Week easy to publicize.
- Food for Fines Week customizable press release provided by Gale.
- National Nutrition Month® press releases from the ADA that you can use for library newsletter, website, or blog filler.
- Add MyPyramid graphics from the USDA to online or print publications
- Add a Family Health Nutrition widget to your library webpage
Tips and Questions of the Day
During the month of March, add a new nutrition tip or trivia question to your library Facebook page, Twitter feed, or blog every day:
- Questions of the Day from the American Dietetic Association
- Tips of the Day from the American Dietetic Association
- Fast Food Trivia from the Fast Food Facts website
- Nutrition Trivia and Quizzes from nutritionist, Alyse Levine
Goof off at the reference desk and amaze your friends on Twitter . . . OR add some fun to a library program, your library website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed:
Interactive Nutrition Games for Kids
- Hungry Hiker: Build a healthy meal that will take your hiker to the top of the mountain.
- Smash Your Food: Guess how many sugar cubes, salt shakes, and teaspoons of oil are in the food that you choose, and then smash it to see if you are right.
- MyPyramid Blast Off : Your mission: to fuel up your MyPyramid rocket ship with enough smart food choices and physical activity to fly to Planet Power!
- Fizzy’s Lunch Lab: Fun games, songs, recipes, and videos.
- Diet Fad Timeline: Who started a fad diet 1820? What was it?
- Diet and Nutrition Quiz: What is your nutrition IQ?
- Fast Food Facts: What are the best and worst choices at your favorite fast food restaurant?
- Hunger Quiz: Think you know the facts about hunger in America?
- MyPyramid Plan: Do you know how much of each food group YOU need daily? Find out and then plan menus and track your nutrition.
- MyFood-a-pedia: Find the calories and MyPyramid food groups for a food, or compare two foods.
What have you used for Nutrition programming in your library?