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The primary purpose of this unit is for students to gain a better understanding of the basic principles of both good nutrition and exercise. Students will be presented with information on ways to address their personal eating and exercise habits. Students will participate in activities that identify what makes up the proper components of a nutritiously balanced diet. Children are taught how the human body processes the foods it takes in. The parts and functions of the digestive system are both identified and explored. Students discover how the human body breaks food down into all the necessary nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, lipids (fats), protein, and sugars it needs to maintain proper weight, body mass index, and metabolism. The nutritional content of manufactured food products vs. real "whole" foods are compared and contrasted. Lastly, students gain an appreciation for simple physical activities that will lead to overall improved fitness. They will engage in simple exercises they can do in as little as 30 minutes. This unit was written with 4th graders in mind, however any upper intermediate grade could use this unit.
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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