Nutrition for the Life Cycle: Pregnancy to Adulthood

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Lifetime Nutrition and Wellness

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student understands the role of nutrients in the body. The student is expected to:
      • (C) analyze and apply various dietary guidelines throughout the life cycle, including pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and late adulthood
    • (3) The student demonstrates knowledge of nutritionally balanced diets. The student is expected to:
      • (D) plan diets based on life cycle, activity level, nutritional needs, portion control, and food budget
      • (E) develop examples of therapeutic diets
      • (H) identify community programs that provide nutrition and wellness services
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • analyze nutritional needs for the life cycle
    • identify food and nutrition programs in their community
    • plan diets for:
      • life cycle
      • activity level
      • nutritional needs
      • portion control
      • food budget
      • therapeutic
  • Rationale

    Nutritional needs change throughout the life cycle. Each life stage brings its own growth and nutritional needs and challenges. Meeting these demands promotes good health at each stage of the life cycle and builds a solid foundation for the future.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Five 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Elderly Nutrition Program: Provides grant money and commodities for meals served to aging citizens

    Life span: All the stages of growth and development throughout life, from before birth to old age

    Obstetrician: A physician who specializes in the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth

    Pediatrician: A physician who cares for infants and children

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities

    Therapeutic diet: A diet ordered by a physician as part of treatment for a disease or clinical condition, or to eliminate, decrease, or increase specific nutrients in the diet

    Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC): Goal is to improve nutrition and health of low-income pregnant women, breast-feeding women, and children up to five years of age

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with Internet access for multimedia presentations
    • computer lab with Internet access (be sure to follow school district guidelines)
    • light projector (Elmo)


    • Dietary Guidelines (one copy) (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
    • Childhood Nutrition (several copies) (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
    • pictures of:
      • adults
      • babies
      • children
      • pregnant mothers
      • teenagers


    • baby bottle
    • baby food
    • fork
    • knife
    • plate
    • spoon

    • copies for handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)

  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Note to Teacher: More information on Nutrition for the Life Cycle can be found in these courses:

    Child Development

    Child Guidance

    Display pictures of the five different stages of the life cycle around the classroom.
    Display as many supplies from the Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed section as you have available. These items are eating supplies for several stages of the life cycle. Other items may be used.

    Distribute graphic organizer KWL – Diet Plans (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Ask students to fill in the first column (K) with a list of things they already know about diet plans.
    Have them fill in the middle column (W) with a list of things they want to learn about diet plans.
    The third column (L) will be filled in during the lesson closure.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute graphic organizer Nutrition for the Life Cycle Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students may take notes as they follow along with the slide presentation.

    Distribute handouts Be a Healthy Role Model, Eat Better on a Budget, Kid Friendly Veggies and Fruits and Tips for Pregnant Moms (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and allow time for students to read the tips. These handouts may be placed in a personal cookbook or notebook.

    Introduce the slide presentation Nutrition for the Life Cycle: Pregnancy to Adulthood (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Discuss the nutritional needs for each of the stages in the life cycle.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • copy of handout key

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Distribute graphic organizer Nutrition in Your Community (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Research various community programs that will provide help with food and nutrition. Discuss the programs and what they have to offer.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • repeated instructions
    • shortened, simplified instructions

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Display graphic organizer Diet Plan Options (see All Lesson Attachments tab) on a light projector. Explain to students that they will be researching diet plans for one of the stages in the life cycle as well as and additional category. There are many more choices that you may add. Decide if students should plan a one day, three day, or seven day diet for the appropriate choice.

    Distribute several copies of the graphic organizer Diet Plans (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will research from reliable internet sources, diet plans for their choice in each category:

    • life cycle
    • activity level
    • nutritional needs
    • portion control
    • food budget
    • therapeutic

    Display a sample menu from the ChooseMyPlate website Sample Menus 2000 Calories (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Distribute Rubric for Diet Plans (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may understand what is expected.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • extended time for assignments
    • check for understanding

  • Lesson Closure

    Distribute the KWL -Diet Plans graphic organizer that students started in the Anticipatory Set section. Allow them to complete the third column with a list of things they learned about diet plans.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will present their research on diet plans to the class.

    Students will be assessed with appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • encourage participation
    • assist in presentation

  • References/Resources


    • Duyff, R. L. (2010). Food, nutrition & wellness. Columbus, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
    • Kowtaluk, H. (2010) Food for today. Columbus, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
    • Weixel, S., & Wempen, F. (2010). Food & nutrition and you. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


    • Academy of Nutrition an Dietetics
      The worlds largest organization of food and nutrition professionals
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture. Website. Washington, DC.
      Accessed February, 2013.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Allow students to read the article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Encourage students to connect reading to their life experiences or prior knowledge.

  • Quotes

    The rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk.
    -Tom Vilsack

    On my show I share all these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people, in moderation, in moderation. You can have that little piece of pie.
    -Paula Deen

    I could cook from quite an early age – purely because I liked it.
    -Jamie Oliver

    I wouldn’t say that processed food, ready meals and even takeaways aren’t relevant to modern life, it’s just that over the past 40 years there are three generations of people who have come out of school and gone through their home life without ever being shown how to cook properly.
    -Jamie Oliver

    The bottom line is that there is a lot more that could and should be done to help people with nutrition and exercise.
    -Parris Glendening

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Nutrition for the Life Cycle: Pregnancy to Adulthood
    • Presentation Notes – Nutrition for the Life Cycle: Pregnancy to Adulthood


    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizers:

    • Diet Plan Options
    • Diet Plans
    • KWL – Diet Plans
    • Nutrition for the Life Cycle Notes
    • Nutrition for the Life Cycle Notes (Key)
    • Nutrition in Your Community
    • Nutrition in Your Community (Key)


    • Be a Healthy Role Model
    • Childhood Nutrition
    • Dietary Guidelines
    • Eat Healthy Be Active Community Workshops
    • Eating Better on A Budget
    • Kid Friendly Veggies and Fruits
    • Rubric for Diet Plans
    • Sample Menus 2000 Cals
    • Tips for Pregnant Moms

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • I have tried the following diets to gain/lose weight: ____________
    • The SNAP program is a valuable resource for low-income people. Agree or Disagree
    • The WIC program benefits ……..
    • A sample diet for a diabetic would consist of …….
    • Portion control for me is easy/difficult because …….

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT writing strategy
      • Role – registered dietitian
      • Audience – high school teenager
      • Format – diets
      • Topic – healthy meals to maintain weight
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    Breastfeeding infants is important because ………….
    Three important guidelines for dieting are ……..

  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Allow students to assess their knowledge of nutrition and eating healthy foods by playing the following games from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


    Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

    The infographic below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the image on a projector and lead a discussion concerning the information provided.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Invite a registered dietitian to speak to the class about eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    • Nutrition and Wellness An individual event, recognizes participants who track food intake and physical activity for themselves, their family, or a community group and determine goals and strategies for improving their overall health.

  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Students may follow USDA’s Eat Healthy Be Active Community Workshops (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to plan a community workshop.

  • All Attachments