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.

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Lesson 1: Dairy In My Diet

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 develop pupils’ understanding of dairy products as an important food for promoting growth, providing energy and for keeping us healthy as part of a balanced diet.

Duration: 30 minutes (approximately)

CURRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Dairy: Milk and food made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.
Food Pyramid: A pyramid which helps us to know which types of food belong together. The Food Pyramid has shelves with the same types of food placed together on a shelf.
Balanced Diet: Eating the correct amount of food and different types of food.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Display the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid and indicate the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ shelf. Ask pupils to name some foods from this shelf. Then, using the Food Pyramid poster, discuss the following ideas about the shelf and record discussion points on the board.

www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/heal/food-pyramid-images/food-pyramid-simple-version.pdf

Recommended servings – it is recommended to have 3 servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group each day. An example of one serving includes 200ml of milk, 125g of yogurt or 25g of hard cheese. Milk, yogurt and cheese are important as part of a healthy balanced diet – they are all excellent sources of calcium, as well as other important things we need to keep our body working, like vitamins. We need calcium to keep our bones and teeth healthy.

Bone health –

  • The type of foods we eat and our physical activity levels can affect our bones.
  • It is important to look after our bones when we are young.
  • Vitamin D is important for looking after our bone health. We can get vitamin D from fish, egg yolk, and vitamin D fortified dairy.
  • It is also important to do regular physical activities which put the weight of our body on our feet and legs. Activities like dancing, running, gymnastics and tennis are good activities for our bone health.

Activity

Group Activity

Ask pupils to chat in groups about their favourite foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ group. Then ask them, as a group, to draw how they include dairy in their diet throughout the day. For example:

  • Starting their day with a bowl of warm porridge made with milk.
  • Drinking a carton or bottle of School Milk each day.
  • Including a yogurt as a lunchtime snack.
  • Having milk in soups or sauces at dinner time.
  • Making a snack of melted cheese on wholegrain toast.
  • Including milk in scrambled egg or omelettes for dinner.
  • Having a cup of hot chocolate or milk before bed.

Personal Activity

Photocopy the ‘5 A Day the Dairy Way’ activity sheet. Ask pupils to think of new ways they can incorporate the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group into their diets, drawing / writing their ideas on the activity sheet.

Extension Activities

  1. Ask pupils to design a poster with their 5 Top Tips for enjoying dairy. Display around the classroom.
  2. Carry out a survey as a class to find out favourite foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group, for example, which is the most popular food? How many pupils like milk / cheese / yogurt?
  3. Using newspapers and magazines, cut out examples of different types of food that make up the dairy shelf of the Food Pyramid to create a dairy shelf poster.

Bring It Home

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

  1. Draw / list the milk, yogurt and cheese products in their fridge.

  2. Ask an adult to help make a healthy snack for lunch, using food from the dairy shelf of the Food Pyramid.

LESSON PLAN: Juniors
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To develop pupils’ understanding of dairy products as one of the main food groups and as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CURRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.
Nutrients: Substances we get from our food which help to keep our bodies healthy e.g. vitamins and minerals.
Food Pyramid: A pyramid shaped display where foods containing the same type of nutrients are grouped together on the same shelf.
Balanced Diet: Eating the recommended servings of food from a variety of different food groups.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Display the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid and indicate the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ shelf. Ask pupils to name some foods from this shelf. Then, using the Food Pyramid poster, discuss the following ideas about the shelf and record discussion points on the board.

www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/heal/food-pyramidimages/food-pyramid-simple-version.pdf

Recommended servings – it is recommended to have 3 servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group each day (between the ages of 9-18 years, 5 servings per day are recommended). An example of one serving includes 200ml of milk, 125g of yogurt or 25g of hard cheese.

Milk, yogurt and cheese are important as part of a healthy balanced diet – they are all excellent sources of calcium, as well as providing other important nutrients like protein and vitamins.

  • Calcium – needed for healthy bones and teeth, and supports muscle health.
  • Protein – helps muscle growth and bone development.
  • B Vitamins – important for taking care of our skin and eyesight and are important for helping us fi ght off colds and flus.

Bone health –

  • Looking after our bones when we are younger benefits our bone health for life.
  • The type of foods we eat and our physical activity levels can affect our bone health.
  • As well as calcium, vitamin D is a key nutrient for bone health. It is found in foods such as oily fi sh (salmon), egg (yolk) and dairy products with added vitamin D.
  • Regular physical activities, which put the weight of our body on our feet and legs, are also really important for bone health. Some of these activities include dancing, running, gymnastics, tennis and basketball.

Activity

Group Activity

Ask pupils to chat in groups about their favourite foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ group and to discuss how they include them in their diet throughout the day. Ask pupils, as a group, to write a list of ways they include dairy in their diets. For example:

  • Starting the day with a bowl of warm porridge made with milk.
  • Drinking a carton or bottle of School Milk each day.
  • Including milk in a fresh fruit smoothie for school lunch.
  • Including yogurt served with granola for school lunch.
  • Having milk in soups or sauces at dinner time.
  • Making a snack of melted cheese on wholegrain toast.
  • Including milk in scrambled egg or omelettes for dinner.
  • Having a cup of hot chocolate or milk before bed.

Individual Activity

Photocopy the 5 A Day the Dairy Way activity sheet. Ask pupils to think of new ways they can incorporate the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group into their diets, recording their ideas on the activity sheet.

Extension Activities

  1. Ask pupils to design a poster in groups with their 5 Top Tips for enjoying dairy. Display around the classroom or school.
  2. Carry out a class survey of favourite foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group. Which is the most popular food? Create a pictogram to represent this information.

Bring It Home

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

  1. List 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 simple family interview – has their family been getting their recommended servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group every day? What are their family’s favourite kinds of dairy food – milk, yogurt or cheese? What is their favourite dairy recipe?
LESSON PLAN: Seniors
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To develop pupils’ understanding of dairy products as one of the main food groups and as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CURRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.
Nutrients: Substances we get from our food which help keep our bodies working healthily e.g. protein, vitamins, minerals.
Food Pyramid: A pyramid shaped display where foods containing the same type of nutrients are grouped together on the same shelf.
Balanced Diet: Consumption of food groups in the recommended servings.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Display the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid and indicate the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ shelf. Ask pupils to name some foods from this shelf. Then, using the poster, discuss the following ideas about the shelf and record discussion points on the board.

https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/heal/foodpyramid-images/food-pyramid-simple-version.pdf

Recommended servings – 5 servings per day are recommended between the ages of 9-18 years from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group (3 servings are recommended for all other age groups). An example of one serving includes 200ml of milk, 125g of yogurt or 25g of hard cheese.

Milk, yogurt and cheese are important as part of a healthy balanced diet – they are all excellent sources of calcium, as well as providing other important nutrients like protein and vitamins B2, B5 and B12 – which all contribute to the normal functioning of many processes in our bodies:

  • Calcium – contributes to healthy bones and teeth, and to muscle function.
  • Protein – helps muscle growth and bone development.
  • B Vitamins
    • Vitamins B2, B5, B12 – help us to get energy from nutrients and to reduce fatigue.
    • Vitamin B2 – important for taking care of skin and eyesight.
    • Vitamin B12 – important for our immune system.

Bone health –

  • Looking after our bones when we are younger benefits our bone health for life.
  • The type of foods we eat and our physical activity levels can affect our bone health.
  • As well as calcium, vitamin D is a key nutrient for bone health. It is made by the action of sunlight on the skin, but is also found in foods such as oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel), egg (yolk) and dairy products fortifi ed with vitamin D.
  • Regular ‘weight-bearing’ activities, which put the full weight of our body on our feet and legs, are also really important for bone health. Some weight-bearing activities include dancing, running, gymnastics, tennis and basketball.

Activity

Pair Activity

Ask pupils to chat in pairs about their favourite foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ group. Ask them to discuss how they include them in their diet throughout the day, for example:

  • Starting their day with a bowl of warm porridge made with milk.
  • Drinking a carton or bottle of School Milk each day.
  • Including a yogurt as a lunchtime snack.
  • Having milk in soups or sauces at dinner time.
  • Making a snack of melted cheese on wholegrain toast.
  • Including milk in scrambled egg or omelettes for dinner.
  • Having a cup of hot chocolate or milk before bed.

Personal Activity

Photocopy the ‘5 A Day the Dairy Way’ Activity Sheet. Ask pupils to think of new ways they can incorporate the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group into their diets, recording their ideas on the activity sheet.

Extension Activities

  1. Ask pupils to design a poster in groups with their 10 Top Tips for enjoying dairy. Display around the classroom or school.
  2. Carry out a school survey of favourite foods from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group. Which is the most popular food?

Bring It Home

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

  1. List 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? What are their family’s favourite kinds of dairy food – milk, yogurt or cheese? What is their favourite dairy recipe?
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