Healthy Options Away from Home

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least three barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption while they're dining out.
  • Describe at least three strategies for including fruits and vegetables in their meals while dining out.
  • Identify at least three barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption while they are at work.
  • Name three easy steps to add fruits and vegetables to their lunches and snacks at work.
  • Remember the importance of making healthy choices when eating meals away from home.

Materials

Preparation

  1. Arrange the classroom so that each group of participants will have a workspace.
  2. Become familiar with the content of each handout prior to implementing the lesson. Photocopy the Smart Choices on the Go and the Power Up at Work handouts for each participant.

Activity 1 — Smart Choices on the Go

Instructions

  1. Separate your class into groups of four to six participants each.
  2. Provide each group with several sheets of paper and a pen or pencil.
  3. Instruct participants to identify a note-taker and a spokesperson for each group.
  4. Ask participants to share with their respective groups their dining out habits. Have the groups talk about how often they eat out during a typical week; where they eat out most of the time; and whether they believe it is difficult to eat fruits and vegetables when they eat out. Have the note-takers write down the responses.
  5. Ask participants to discuss the reasons they believe it is difficult to eat fruits and vegetables when dining out. Have the note-takers write down the responses.
  6. Ask the spokesperson from each group to share the responses, and write them on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see.
  7. Discuss the responses of all groups, and work with the class to organize the answers into general categories. For example, group the number of times participants eat out during the week, group the types of restaurants participants usually go to, and group the reasons participants believe it is difficult to eat fruits and vegetables when dining out.
  8. Ask participants to work with their groups again to identify ways to include fruits and vegetables in their meals when they dine out. Have the note-takers write down the responses.
  9. Ask the spokesperson from each group to share the responses, and write them on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see. Discuss the responses of all groups, and organize the responses into another set of categories.
  10. Distribute copies of the Smart Choices on the Go handout, and review the helpful tips with the class. Have participants identify which ideas on the handout would help them overcome the difficulties they mentioned previously.
  11. Conclude the lesson by discussing with the group additional ideas for overcoming difficulties to fruit and vegetable consumption when dining out.

Activity 2 — Power Up at Work

Instructions

  1. Separate your class into new groups of four to six participants each.
  2. Provide each group with several sheets of paper and a pen or pencil.
  3. Instruct participants to identify a note-taker and a spokesperson for each group.
  4. Ask participants to share with their respective groups their eating habits at work. Have the groups talk about how often they bring lunch from home; how often they buy lunch from the cafeteria, catering truck or vending machine at their work; and whether they believe it's difficult to eat fruits and vegetables while at work. Have the note-takers write down the responses.
  5. Ask the participants to discuss the reasons they believe it is difficult to eat fruits and vegetables at work. Have the note-takers write down the responses.
  6. Ask the spokesperson from each group to share the responses, and write the responses on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see.
  7. Discuss the responses of all groups, and work with the class to organize the responses into general categories. For example, group how often participants bring their lunches from home, group how often participants buy lunches at work, and group the reasons participants believe it is difficult to eat fruits and vegetables while at work.
  8. Ask participants to work with their groups again to identify ways to include fruits and vegetables in their meals and snacks at work. Have the note-takers write down the responses.
  9. Ask the spokesperson from each group to share the responses, and write them on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see. Discuss the responses of all groups, and organize the responses into another set of categories.
  10. Distribute copies of the Power Up at Work handout, and review the helpful tips with the class. Have participants identify which ideas on the handout would help them overcome the difficulties they mentioned previously.
  11. Conclude the lesson by discussing with the group additional ideas for overcoming difficulties to fruit and vegetable consumption when at work.

Expansion Ideas

Physical Activity

Repeat this lesson with the group, focusing on how to be physically active while at work or on the go. Use the Physical Activity Pyramid (PDF, 132KB) handout to provide examples of how to be physically active with a busy lifestyle.

Advocating For Fruits, Vegetables, and Physical Activity

Use the Steps to Advocate for Fruits, Vegetables, and Physical Activity in Your Community handout to discuss with participants strategies for improving the availability and quality of fruits and vegetables at their local restaurants and at work.

Tips

  • If the class has a few participants, conduct this lesson as a class.
  • If you have time for only one activity, you may use the other activity in a follow-up class.

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