The following activity ideas are excerpted from the new book, MyPlate for Everyone, which is coming soon from Food and Health Communications!
MyPlate Commercial: (Adults) Review the health benefits of MyPlate. Have participants form small groups and improvise commercials for MyPlate, highlighting its impact on diet, disease risk, and general health.
Variation for kids: As a group, come up with a script for a MyPlate commercial and have volunteers act it out.
MyPlate Poll: (Adults) Poll the group. Who has balanced his/her plate like MyPlate for at least one meal? More than one meal? Discuss how it went — what was easy, what was hard, etc.
Variation for kids: Hand out stickers to each person who made a meal like MyPlate.
Vegetable Subgroup Investigation: (Adults) Divide participants into groups and give each one a MyPlate vegetable subgroup to research. Have each group find out which vegetables belong to their subgroup and what nutrients those vegetables contain. Reconvene and have the groups present what they found.
Variation for kids: Use the handouts from the MyPlate Vegetable Subgroup Exploration Series (free at www.foodandhealth.com) and give each group a handout instead of asking them to do research. Let each group present its findings to the rest of the class.
Fruit Tasting Series: (Adults) Have each participant bring in his or her favorite snack that features fruit. Instruct everyone to bring in enough of their snacks for each member of the class to have a taste. Set up a buffet with submissions from the group, and discuss the snacks while everyone eats. Which ones are new favorite treats? Why did people bring in the snacks they chose?
What Vegetable Am I? (Kids or Adults) Secretly assign each participant a vegetable. Have the class try to guess which vegetable a participant has. Help the participant offer clues about their veggie until the group guesses it. Repeat as necessary.
Switch It Out! (Kids) Have the kids draw a picture of their favorite meal. Does it match MyPlate? Why or why not? Have everyone label their drawings with the food groups from MyPlate, then make a new picture that reimagines the meal according to MyPlate. What has changed? Why?
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.