Pasta Display and Activity Ideas:

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When you choose whole grain options and healthful toppings, pasta can be part of a healthy eating pattern. Here are a few ideas to help turn this popular food into an engaging teaching tool!

Pasta Contest:

Gather your participants and explain that over the next month or so, you will be leading a pasta contest.

The goal is to find the tastiest recipes that showcase the most nutritious ingredients.

Each week or so (depending on your time constraints and the number of people in your class) a few different participants will prepare samples of their favorite healthful pasta recipes to try. Once everyone has sampled each dish, they will vote on a winner, whose dish will make it to the finals.

Once everyone has entered a dish, the finalists will face off and prepare their dishes a second time. A vote will once again determine the winner, or you can choose several people to win the contest. Consider awarding prizes like cooking equipment or grocery gift cards.

Be sure to highlight food safety best practices before anyone cooks a dish to bring in to share with the group, and do your best to create a food safe environment for all that sampling.

Pasta Display:

Find a compelling picture of pasta (or use the brand-new bulletin board banner in the Nutrition Education Store) to build a beautiful pasta display.

You can post this display just about anywhere — dining rooms, bulletin boards, classrooms, cafeterias, health fairs, offices, hallways, or even as a visual aid for cooking demonstrations or other presentations.

Think about it. What would go well with a photo of produce and pasta?

Would a list of nearby markets and their hours be useful for people who want to procure their own editions of these delicious foods? How about recipes that feature them? You can also use other beautiful pictures of food to highlight the joys of a healthful eating pattern.

If you’re doing the pasta contest as well, then you could incorporate photos of some of the winning dishes — along with printed recipes — into this display too.

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