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Integrating Concepts about Food, Nutrition and PA

Lessons that can be integrated into core subjects for middle schoolers. Lessons are organized into nutrient content areas: carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, water and physical activity (PA).


The objectives are to provide school-wide emphasis on health by supporting teachers to integrate nutrition concepts in their lessons, allow flexibility for teachers to adapt nutrition themes to their curriculum, emphasize practical application of nutrition concepts, and empower students to make individual and community nutrition-related choices that promote health. The activity set provides topic prompts about food, food production, gardening, and nutrition to include in science, history, mathematics, and English language arts instruction. Lessons are organized into nutrient content areas: carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Prompts connect subject areas and nutrition content through themes about growing and eating food.

What’s Inside

The introduction outlines the program goal and objectives, and tips are provided for engaging the whole school and coordinating and implementing nutrition and health across grades and subjects. Each unit includes an At-a-Glance overview and background about each nutrient. Additional information for using the Nutrition Facts label and the food label ingredient list is provided, with tips for selecting healthy options. Lesson prompts and ideas are given for history, science, mathematics, and English language arts.

Activity Highlight

In the Carbohydrates and History Lesson Ideas, students compare the amount of sugar and corn syrup eaten in 1950 and in 2000 and compare the way children in other countries eat with the way children eat now. They research and describe why fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy meal pattern in many cultures.   

  • Key Content Areas: After School, Cafeteria Connections, Food Literacy and Cooking Activities, Garden-based, Healthy School Environment, Integrated Subjects, Physical Activities

  • Originator of Resources: Community Voices for Health

  • User of Resource: Middle School Teachers

  • Audience: Grades 6–8

  • Languages: English

  • Number of lessons: 8 lessons

  • Amount of time per lesson: 60–90 minutes

  • Format: Downloadable PDF


To access the curriculum, select Integrating Concepts about Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity into Middle School Curriculum External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)


If you have any questions, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at 

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 10, 2022
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