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Meal Planning for the Family

Time Frame

1 class periods of 90 minutes each

Group Size



Cindy Tegge


Using the recommended Dietary Guidelines and the Food Guide Pyramid, plan meals for the family that are nutritious and aesthetically pleasing.


Suggested Videos:

The New Nutrition Pyramid, Glencoe, 13 minutes
Your Nutrition Style: New Dietary Guidelines #25702, Learning Seed, 26 minutes, $89.
Eating for Life: The Nutrition Pyramid #17394, Learning Seed, 22 minutes, $89.


Meal Planning Study Sheet
What I Ate Yesterday
Tips for Teens on Eating Well
Family Food Profile

Make overhead transparencies for:

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2000
America's Diet Compared to the Pyramid

Copies from the Dairy Council:

Guide to Good Eating
Daily Food Guide Pyramid

Optional resources:

Prepare and show some premeasured or weighed food examples from real food, the actual size of a serving for each of the food groups, or use the plastic food model replicas from Nasco.

Background for Teachers

Review the new Dietary Guidelines as of 2000. Go to the Food and Nutrition Information Center with USDA at or contact the Dairy Council or County Extension Office for current information.

Be familiar with the Food Guide Pyramid - obtain copies through the Dairy Council for the Daily Food Guide Pyramid and Guide to Good Eating and other resource materials.

Student Prior Knowledge

Knowledge of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2000 and an understanding of the Food Guide Pyramid.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The student should identify and list the recommended dietary guidelines and explain their function and implement them in meal planning. The student should be able to identify and understand the Food Guide Pyramid, its servings, serving sizes, and the foods within each of the food groups in planning and preparing nutritional and aesthetically meals.

Instructional Procedures

Hand out the Study Sheet, Meal Planning for the Family.

Using the Overhead, identify and explain the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Hand out the "What I Ate Yesterday" handout. Have the students take no more than 10 - 15 minutes in completing the chart on what food they ate yesterday with the approximate amounts. Have them identify each of the foods into the food group it belongs in and have them see how their diet from the day before met the requirements from the Food Guide Pyramid.

Show a video. I recommend Eating for Life: the Nutrition Pyramid.

Discuss the Food Pyramid. Identify the shape and compare it with the overhead on American's pyramid, food groups, nutrients, number of recommended servings and serving sizes. Use charts, food samples or food model replicas, handouts to cover the information.

Assign the Family Food Profile Assignment and identify a due date. Explain the assignment to identify some information about their family and then to plan three days of menu's according to the Dietary Guidelines and Food Guide Pyramid.


Resources from the Utah Dairy Council Daily Food Guide Pyramid and Guide to Good Eating.

Plastic Food Model Replicas and Food Pyramid from Nasco.

Created: 07/24/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018