SuperTracker Gets Students Back on Track as They Head Back to School

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WASHINGTON, September 15, 2016 – Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) released updated SuperTracker Nutrition Lesson Plans for High School Students. This cross-curricular nutrition education resource for teachers, schools, and health educators helps students in grades 9-12 learn how to build healthy eating styles using SuperTracker, an online food and physical activity tracking tool.

“SuperTracker is an engaging, interactive tool that can help students think critically about their food and physical activity choices,” said Angie Tagtow, Executive Director of USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. “As students go back to school this fall, we are pleased to offer a reinvigorated version of our SuperTracker lesson plans with new content based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

To support teachers in making nutrition education a fun and interactive experience, CNPP created a series of six lesson plans intended for use with high school students. Originally released in 2014, the lesson plans have been updated and expanded upon to reflect the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. SuperTracker Nutrition Lesson Plans for High Schools include a variety of topics such as healthy snacking, creating a personalized food plan, comparing and contrasting different food options, and building healthy meals. In addition, two new lessons have been added that cover physical activity and calorie balance. Each lesson plan includes learning objectives, detailed instructions, and an accompanying handout.

These lesson plans are designed for high school Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Science teachers; however, the resources provided allow any teacher to promote health and wellness in their classrooms, with or without experience in nutrition education.

For a little competition in the classroom, teachers can also engage students with SuperTracker’s new MyPlate Challenges. By creating a SuperTracker group and inviting students to join, teachers can set up a ready-made MyPlate Challenge or design their own custom food and activity challenge. They can also choose a group challenge, where individual students compete against one another, or a group-versus-group challenge where one classroom challenges another classroom. Students use a simple Quick Tracker to record food and physical entries with minimal effort and earn points for healthy choices. Participants can compare their progress in a challenge leaderboard, get motivational tips and congratulations messages, and declare a winner.

"MyPlate Challenges are a new addition to SuperTracker and are a great tool to get students excited about healthy eating," said Tagtow. "CNPP launched this resource as part of our MyPlate, MyWins initiative that supports Americans in making small healthy changes that can add up to big successes."

SuperTracker offers personalized recommendations for what and how much to eat; food, physical activity, and weight tracking; goal setting; and a new group challenge feature that encourages healthy lifestyle choices through friendly competition. The application is free and is available on desktop and mobile devices. Additional details about SuperTracker are available in this SuperTracker Fact Sheet.

These SuperTracker resources for students complement and support the reforms to school nutrition enacted through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). Since the passing of HHFKA, school environments are healthier than ever before. More than 99 percent of schools are meeting the updated nutrition standards, offering meals and snacks that feature fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy. Nutrition education, such as the lessons offered through the SuperTracker Nutrition Lessons Plans for High School Students, empower students to make healthy choices all day long.

To download the SuperTracker lesson plans or find other resources for the classroom, visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/teachers. In addition, families working together toward a healthier lifestyle this back-to-school season can find tips and resources at https://www.choosemyplate.gov/families.

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