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Nutrition Education With Visual Food Models

February 18, 2019

National Dairy Council’s food models can help make teaching nutrition easy and fun.

They are versatile, printer-friendly and bring the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and MyPlate recommendations to life. When printed on 8.5-by-11-inch paper, these food models represent true-to-life serving sizes of the individual foods. Nutrient information is provided on the back of the images in a format similar to the updated 2018 Nutrition Facts labels.

The DGA recommends Americans aged 2 and older make smart nutrition choices. Healthy eating patterns include low-fat or fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein (e.g., meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts).

The food models help teach the concept of “balance, variety and moderation” — eating from all five food groups, eating a variety of foods within each food group and eating the recommended amounts from each food group.

The food models make it easy to teach nutrition as a stand-alone topic or as part of core curriculum subjects such as math or science. The leader guide comes with a variety of activities and lesson plans. To download the original Food Models resource, please click the download button on the right.