Introduction ToHealthy Eating
This mini-lesson will take 30-45 minutes to complete.
Begin by telling participants that today's mini-lesson will focus on the current guidelines for healthy eating, based on Canada's Food Guide.
"We're going to start with a quiz about your own eating habits. The quiz is only for you to look at and it will not be collected. It will help you to see what healthy eating habits you have and what you can improve on. Let's begin."
Part 1: Healthy Eating Check-up
- Distribute the Healthy Eating Check-up worksheet and pencils. Allow approximately ten minutes to complete the activity. If you read each question aloud, allow more time.
- After everyone has completed the worksheet, distribute copies of Canada's Food Guide. Take a few minutes to explain the key features of the Food Guide:
- Describes the amount and type of food that people need as part of a healthy eating pattern;
- includes foods from each of the four food groups - Vegetables and Fruit, Grain Products, Milk and Alternatives, Meat and Alternatives;
- recommends how many Food Guide Servings people should eat from each food group. The recommended number of servings is different for people at different stages of life and for males and females;
- provides advice for different ages and stages. If available, you may want to use food models to demonstrate examples of Food Guide Servings for each food group.
- Ask participants to refer back to their completed Healthy Eating Check-up worksheets. Go over each question, briefly explaining why some habits get top marks and others do not. Use the Healthy Eating Check-up Discussion Points for the Leader, to help you review the worksheet.
- This is a good place to offer the Health Canada PowerPoint presentation on the Food Guide, if desired. It will take about 30 minutes to run through.
- For additional background information, use Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide: A Resource for Educators and Communicators.
- After participants have completed the worksheet and you have discussed the answers with them, move on to a discussion about how to make the necessary dietary changes.
Part 2: Personal Action Plan for Healthy Eating
- Prepare participants to use the Personal Action Plan for Healthy Eating worksheet by starting a discussion on how they might begin to make some changes to how they eat.
"For most people, adopting a healthier eating pattern means making small changes in the foods bought, how the food is prepared and how much is eaten. It does not require a completely different eating pattern."
- Distribute the Personal Action Plan for Healthy Eating worksheet. Help participants work through it.
- Ask participants to identify personal eating habits that need improvement. They might need to look at their Healthy Eating Checklist results. Ask them to choose one or two habits that they are willing
to change or that seem easy to change.
"How could you make these changes? Keep in mind there is no need to completely eliminate foods or eat foods that you don't like. Instead, try small, realistic changes."
- Encourage participants to be specific about how they will make changes. Provide some examples:
- Add raw vegetables, salad, or vegetable soup to lunch.
- Limit eating at restaurants to no more than once per week.
- Buy whole wheat bread instead of white.
- Have fish for supper once a week and have a salmon sandwich for lunch once a week.
- Try a new bean/legume recipe this week.
- Allow enough time for participants to complete the worksheet (approximately 5 minutes).
- Ask if anyone would like to share his or her plan.
- Encourage participants to try to make healthy eating changes. Remind them that they can set some simple goals that can achieve healthier eating.
- Suggest additional sources of information related to this session:
- Distribute an evaluation for each person to complete. The feedback you receive will be useful in planning future sessions.