Lesson Plans

Welcome to the “Lesson Plans” section of the website. Here you will find all the teaching resources, educational videos and interactive lesson plans you will need to bring Moo Crew to life in your classroom.

PLAY VIDEO

Lesson 1: Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating is designed to help pupils understand the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid, develop an awareness of the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group and to learn to make healthy food choices. Access the lesson plan below, and don’t forget to check out our fun games and interactive worksheets in the ‘Resources’ tab.

LESSON PLAN: Infants
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To help pupils understand the Food Pyramid, increase awareness of the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, and to learn to make healthy food choices.

Duration: 30 minutes (approximately)

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Nutrition: The process whereby our bodies obtain and use nutrients from foods.
Nutrients: Substances obtained from our food that provide nourishment essential for the maintenance of our bodies e.g. carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Food Energy: Energy we get from the food we eat, needed by our bodies for physical and mental activity.
Balanced Diet: Consumption of food groups in the recommended proportions.
Portion Size: Amount of food usually served to one person.
Food Pyramid: A pyramid shaped display where foods containing the same type of nutrients are grouped together.
Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Step 1: Introduction

  • Display the Department of Health’s most up to date Food Pyramid (Dec. 2016) in your classroom. The Department of Health’s Food Pyramid provides healthy eating guidelines for those aged 5 years and older. Begin by having a discussion with your class about food. Ask them to name some of their favourite foods and the foods they least like to eat. From this, see if they can identify which of the foods belong in which food group. Ask children to discuss healthy and less healthy food choices. Ask pupils why they think some shelves are bigger than others and record their answers.

  • Explain that everyone has different nutritional needs. This varies depending on factors such as body size, age, gender and activity level.

Step 2: The Food Pyramid

Beginning from the bottom shelf and working to the top of the pyramid, explain each shelf.

  • Vegetables, Salad and Fruit
    Main Function: These foods provide vitamins, minerals and fibre.
    Servings: 5-7 servings a day.
    One serving: 1 medium apple, orange, banana or pear; 10 grapes; 16 raspberries; 1⁄2 cup cooked vegetables (fresh/frozen); a bowl of salad or homemade vegetable soup.
  • Wholemeal Cereals and Breads, Potatoes, Pasta and Rice
    Main Function: Foods from this shelf are the best energy providers for your body.
    Servings: 3-5 servings a day for boys. 3-4 servings for girls.
    One serving: 2 thin slices of wholemeal bread; 1/3 cup dry porridge oats; 2 medium or 4 small potatoes; 1 cup of cooked pasta, rice, noodles or cous cous.
  • Milk, Yoghurt and Cheese
    Main Function: Milk, yogurt and cheese are important sources of calcium, a mineral needed for healthy bones and teeth.
    Servings: 3 servings a day for those aged 5-8 years; 5 daily for those aged 9-18 years.
    One serving: A 200ml glass of milk; a 125g pot of yogurt; or a 25g piece of hard cheese.
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans and Nuts
    Main Function: These foods are good protein and iron providers.
    Servings: 2 servings a day.
    One serving: 50 – 75g of cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, mince or chicken; 100g of cooked fish or tofu; 2 eggs; 40g plain, unsalted nuts or seeds.
  • Fats, Spreads and Oils
    Main Function: Spreads and oils provide essential fats but are only needed in very small amounts.
    Servings: Use as little as possible.
    One serving: 1 portion pack reduced-fat or light spread for 2 slices of bread; 1 teaspoon oil (rapeseed, olive, canola, sunflower or corn) per person when cooking.
  • Foods and Drinks High in Fat, Sugar and Salt
    Explain that there are no recommended servings for the Top Shelf foods and drinks as they are not needed for good health. It’s best not to have these foods every day – maximum once or twice a week of small or fun-sized servings.

Serving Guide

  • Cereals, cooked rice and pasta, vegetables, salad and fruit
    Use a 200ml disposable plastic cup to guide serving size
  • Cheese
    Use two thumbs, width and depth to guide serving size.
  • Meat, poultry, fish
    The palm of the hand, width and depth without fi ngers and thumbs, shows how much you need in a day.
  • Reduced-fat spread
    Portion packs found in cafés can guide the amount you use. One pack should be enough for two slices of bread
  • Oils
    Use one teaspoon of oil per person when cooking or in salads.

Activity

The Food Pyramid

Teacher’s note: if there is a child with a diagnosed lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy in your classroom, you may choose to excuse them from the following activity or help them to participate in a different way.

  • Instructions:
    1. Make a list of the pupils’ favourite ways of enjoying foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group throughout the day (e.g. milk in cereal, yogurt in a fruit smoothie, a cheese sandwich for lunch). Gather suggestions on the whiteboard or fl ipchart.

Extension Activity: Food Pyramid Art

  • Use the Food Pyramid template supplied on the Healthy Ireland website to build your own Food Pyramid.
  • Using newspapers and magazines, cut out examples of different types of food that make up the Food Pyramid. Try to find as much variety as possible, i.e. different types of vegetables and varieties of wholegrain foods, etc. If there are foods your pupils don’t recognise, such as more ‘unusual’ fruit/veg, take a moment to show a picture of the food to the class and chat to them about it and its nutritional contents.
  • Ask pupils to find food from each of the groups and paste them onto the correct shelf of their Food Pyramid template. Encourage them to be as creative as possible with their choices and to stick on foods they maybe haven’t tried before but would like to taste Once pupils have finished this exercise, encourage them to share their work with the rest of the class, asking your pupils to talk you through their choices.

Bring It Home

Encourage your pupils to take home the message of the importance of dairy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. As a homework exercise, you can ask your pupils to:

  1. Describe the milk, yogurt and cheese products in their fridge.
  2. Ask an adult to help them to make a healthy snack for their lunchbox using something from the dairy shelf on the Food Pyramid.
  3. Take home the Food Pyramid they made in class and talk about it with their parent/carer. Encourage your pupils to stick their Food Pyramid on the fridge so that they don’t forget to get their 3 servings of dairy a day.
LESSON PLAN: Junior
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To help pupils understand the Food Pyramid, increase awareness of the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, and to learn to make healthy food choices.

Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Nutrition: The process whereby our bodies obtain and use nutrients from foods.
Nutrients: Substances obtained from our food that provide nourishment essential for the maintenance of our bodies e.g. carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Food Energy: Energy we get from the food we eat, needed by our bodies for physical and mental activity.
Balanced Diet: Consumption of food groups in the recommended proportions.
Portion Size: Amount of food usually served to one person.
Food Pyramid: A pyramid shaped display where foods containing the same type of nutrients are grouped together.
Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Step 1: Introduction

  • Display the Food Pyramid in your classroom. The Department of Health’s Food Pyramid provides healthy eating guidelines for those aged 5 years and older. Ask the class to name everyday foods that they like and ask them to identify which of the foods belong in each food group. Ask children to discuss healthy and less healthy food choices. Ask pupils why they think some shelves are bigger than others.

  • Explain that everyone has different nutritional needs. This varies depending on factors such as body size, age, gender and activity level.

Step 2: The Food Pyramid

Beginning from the bottom shelf and working to the top of the pyramid, explain each shelf.

  • Vegetables, Salad and Fruit
    Main Function: These foods provide vitamins, minerals and fibre.
    Servings: 5-7 servings a day.
    One serving: 1 medium apple, orange, banana or pear; 10 grapes; 16 raspberries; 1/2 cup cooked vegetables (fresh / frozen); a bowl of salad or homemade vegetable soup, 150 ml unsweetened fruit juice.
    Points to highlight: Base meals on this food group and choose a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables. If having fruit juice, limit to once a day with a meal and choose unsweetened.
  • Wholemeal Cereals and Breads, Potatoes, Pasta and Rice
    Main Function: Foods from this shelf are the best energy providers for your body.
    Servings: 3-5 servings a day for boys. 3-4 servings for girls.
    One serving: 2 thin slices of wholemeal bread; 1/3 cup dry porridge oats; 2 medium or 4 small potatoes; 1 cup of cooked pasta, rice, noodles or cous cous.
    Points to highlight: The number of servings you need from this group depends on age, size, if you are male or female and how active you are.
  • Milk, Yoghurt and Cheese
    Main Function: Milk, yogurt and cheese are important sources of calcium, a mineral needed for healthy bones and teeth.
    Servings: 3 servings a day for those aged 5-8 years; 5 daily for those aged 9-18 years.
    One serving: A 200ml glass of milk; a 125g pot of yogurt; or a 25g piece of hard cheese.
    Points to highlight: Low/reduced-fat varieties from this food group are recommended and remain sources of important nutrients such as calcium and protein.
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans and Nuts
    Main Function: These foods are good protein and iron providers.
    Servings: 2 servings a day.
    One serving: 50 – 75g of cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, mince or chicken; 100g of cooked fish or tofu; 2 eggs; 40g plain, unsalted nuts or seeds.
    Points to highlight: Choose lean cuts of meat and limit processed meat (e.g. sausages, bacon and ham). Eat oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines) up to twice a week.
  • Fats, Spreads and Oils
    Main Function: Spreads and oils provide essential fats but are only needed in very small amounts.
    Servings: Use as little as possible.
    One serving: 1 portion pack reduced-fat or light spread for 2 slices of bread; 1 teaspoon oil (rapeseed, olive, canola, sunflower or corn) per person when cooking.
    Points to highlight: Limit mayonnaise, coleslaw and salad dressings as they also contain oil. Cook with as little oil as possible – grill, steam, bake or boil instead.
  • Foods and Drinks High in Fat, Sugar and Salt
    Explain that there are no recommended servings for the Top Shelf foods and drinks as they are not needed for good health. It’s best not to have these foods every day – maximum once or twice a week of small or fun-sized servings.

Serving Guide

  • Cereals, cooked rice and pasta, vegetables, salad and fruit
    Use a 200ml disposable plastic cup to guide serving size
  • Cheese
    Use two thumbs, width and depth to guide serving size.
  • Meat, poultry, fish
    The palm of the hand, width and depth without fi ngers and thumbs, shows how much you need in a day.
  • Reduced-fat spread
    Portion packs found in cafés can guide the amount you use. One pack should be enough for two slices of bread
  • Oils
    Use one teaspoon of oil per person when cooking or in salads.

Activity

The Food Pyramid

Teacher’s note: if there is a child with a diagnosed lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy in your classroom, you may choose to excuse them from the following activity or help them to participate in a different way.

  • Instructions:
    1. Make a list of the pupils’ favourite ways of enjoying foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group throughout the day (e.g. milk in cereal, yogurt in a fruit smoothie, a cheese sandwich for lunch). Gather suggestions on the whiteboard or flipchart.

Extension Activity: Design a Menu

Ask your pupils to design their own menu with their favourite foods (making sure they use the Food Pyramid guidelines). Pupils can do this in their copy books. You may need to give an example of this to the class first.

Extension Activity: Food Pyramid Art

Use the food pyramid template supplied on the Healthy Ireland website to build your own Food Pyramid. Using newspapers and magazines, ask pupils to find food from each of the groups and paste them onto the correct shelf.


Bring It Home

See the DVD for suggested ways of encouraging your pupils to take home the message of the importance of dairy as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. As a homework exercise, you can ask your pupils to:

  1. Describe the milk, yogurt and cheese products in their fridge.
  2. Ask an adult to help them design and prepare a meal for their family using the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group.
  3. Conduct a family survey – has their family been getting their recommended servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group every day? Ask family members what their favourite kind of dairy food is – milk, yogurt or cheese? What’s their favourite dairy recipe?
LESSON PLAN: Senior
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To help pupils understand the Food Pyramid, increase awareness of the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, and to learn to make healthy food choices.

Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Nutrition: The process whereby our bodies obtain and use nutrients from foods.
Nutrients: Substances obtained from our food that provide nourishment essential for the maintenance of our bodies e.g. carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Food Energy: Energy we get from the food we eat, needed by our bodies for physical and mental activity.
Balanced Diet: Consumption of food groups in the recommended proportions.
Portion Size: Amount of food usually served to one person.
Food Pyramid: A pyramid shaped display where foods containing the same type of nutrients are grouped together.
Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Step 1: Introduction

  • Display the Department of Health’s most up to date Food Pyramid (Dec 2016) in your classroom. The Department of Health’s Food Pyramid provides healthy eating guidelines for those aged 5 years and older. Begin by having a discussion with your class about food. Ask them to name some of their favourite foods and the foods they least like to eat. From this, see if they can identify which of the foods belong in which food group. Ask children to discuss healthy and less healthy food choices. Ask pupils why they think some shelves are bigger than others and record their answers.

  • Explain that everyone has different nutritional needs. This varies depending on factors such as body size, age, gender and activity level.

Step 2: The Food Pyramid

Beginning from the bottom shelf and working to the top of the pyramid, explain each shelf.

  • Vegetables, Salad and Fruit
    Main Function: These foods provide vitamins, minerals and fibre.
    Servings: 5-7 servings a day.
    One serving: 1 medium apple, orange, banana or pear; 10 grapes; 16 raspberries; 1/2 cup cooked vegetables (fresh / frozen); a bowl of salad or homemade vegetable soup, 150 ml unsweetened fruit juice.
    Points to highlight: Base meals on this food group and choose a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables. If having fruit juice, limit to once a day with a meal and choose unsweetened.
  • Wholemeal Cereals and Breads, Potatoes, Pasta and Rice
    Main Function: Foods from this shelf are the best energy providers for your body.
    Servings: 3-5 servings a day for boys. 3-4 servings for girls.
    One serving: 2 thin slices of wholemeal bread; 1/3 cup dry porridge oats; 2 medium or 4 small potatoes; 1 cup of cooked pasta, rice, noodles or cous cous.
    Points to highlight: The number of servings you need from this group depends on age, size, if you are male or female and how active you are.
  • Milk, Yoghurt and Cheese
    Main Function: Milk, yogurt and cheese are important sources of calcium, a mineral needed for healthy bones and teeth.
    Servings: 3 servings a day for those aged 5-8 years; 5 daily for those aged 9-18 years.
    One serving: A 200ml glass of milk; a 125g pot of yogurt; or a 25g piece of hard cheese.
    Points to highlight: Low / reduced-fat varieties from this food group are recommended and remain sources of important nutrients such as calcium and protein.
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans and Nuts
    Main Function: These foods are good protein and iron providers.
    Servings: 2 servings a day.
    One serving: 50 – 75g of cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, mince or chicken; 100g of cooked fish or tofu; 2 eggs; 40g plain, unsalted nuts or seeds.
    Points to highlight: Choose lean cuts of meat and limit processed meat (e.g. sausages, bacon and ham). Eat oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines) up to twice a week.
  • Fats, Spreads and Oils
    Main Function: Spreads and oils provide essential fats but are only needed in very small amounts.
    Servings: Use as little as possible.
    One serving: 1 portion pack reduced-fat or light spread for 2 slices of bread; 1 teaspoon oil (rapeseed, olive, canola, sunflower or corn) per person when cooking.
    Points to highlight: Limit mayonnaise, coleslaw and salad dressings as they also contain oil. Cook with as little oil as possible – grill, steam, bake or boil instead.
  • Foods and Drinks High in Fat, Sugar and Salt
    Explain that there are no recommended servings for the Top Shelf foods and drinks as they are not needed for good health. It’s best not to have these foods every day – maximum once or twice a week of small or fun-sized servings.

Serving Guide

  • Cereals, cooked rice and pasta, vegetables, salad and fruit
    Use a 200ml disposable plastic cup to guide serving size
  • Cheese
    Use two thumbs, width and depth to guide serving size.
  • Meat, poultry, fish
    The palm of the hand, width and depth without fi ngers and thumbs, shows how much you need in a day.
  • Reduced-fat spread
    Portion packs found in cafés can guide the amount you use. One pack should be enough for two slices of bread
  • Oils
    Use one teaspoon of oil per person when cooking or in salads.

Activity

5 A Day the Dairy Way

Teacher’s note: if there is a child with a diagnosed lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy in your classroom, you may choose to excuse them from the following activity or help them to participate in a different way.

  • Instructions:
    1. Make a list of the pupils’ favourite ways of enjoying foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group throughout the day (e.g. milk in cereal, yogurt in a fruit smoothie, a cheese sandwich for lunch). Gather suggestions on the whiteboard or flipchart.

    2. Print the 5 A Day the Dairy Way worksheet for your class. Tell them to think of new ways they can incorporate the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group into their diets.

Extension Activity: Design a Menu

Ask your pupils to design their own menu with their favourite foods (making sure they use the Food Pyramid guidelines). Pupils can do this in their copybooks.

Extension Activity: Food Pyramid Art

Use the Food Pyramid template supplied on the Healthy Ireland website to build your own Food Pyramid. Using newspapers and magazines, ask pupils to find food from each of the groups and paste them onto the correct shelf.


Bring It Home

Encourage your pupils to take home the message of the importance of dairy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. As a homework exercise, you can ask your pupils to:

  1. Describe the milk, yogurt and cheese products in their fridge.
  2. Ask an adult to help them design and prepare a meal for their family using the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group.
  3. Conduct a family survey – has their family been getting their recommended servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group every day? Ask family members what their favourite kind of dairy food is – milk, yogurt or cheese? What’s their favourite dairy recipe?
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