Teaching prekindergarten students to make healthy eating choices using the updated MyPlate model was an exciting opportunity for medical assistant students Trisha Sizer and Bao Vang.On June 2, 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack released the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder for consumers to make healthier food choices. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grain, protein and dairy groups.
Sizer and Vang are working toward their Medical Assistant Associate Degree. As part of their Patient Care 1 class, they successfully completed a service learning project by teaching prekindergarten students at Good News Children’s Center about MyPlate and the updated food pyramid.
The students gave an age-appropriate presentation to the young children as part of the Good News Children’s Center early childhood education program. They handed out nutritional brochures regarding how much of each food group is needed for a healthy diet.
In the clinical environment, medical assistants are responsible for educating patients and relaying physician orders, so this project provided an opportunity to directly apply these important skills.
The students shared that it can be challenging to teach preschool age children. They had to change their vocabulary and physical demeanor to a level that preschool students would understand. They also learned more about the new MyPlate and the recent changes to the food pyramid.
While they found it challenging to teach the information to the children, the students both said it was a fun project and they enjoyed learning about the new nutrition standards.
“The project was a success, said Stephanie O’Malley, medical assisting program chair at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester. “The Good News Children’s Center wants to continue working with us. The students did a wonderful job with their presentation and their resources.”
Check out the updated MyPlate standards to learn more about making healthy food choices for your family.