ʻĀINA In Schools

Nutrition Education

The ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Education component empowers students to make healthy food choices that will last a lifetime. A series of 8 lessons for grades 2 and 6 focus on choosing foods that are good for both student and environmental health, by eating local, “close to the source,” high quality whole foods.  All lessons include a food sample that reinforces the key concepts covered in each session.

Grade Level Focus: Lessons incorporate academic standards for grades 2 and 6, but can be easily adapted for use in other grades.

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Educational Offerings

Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation staff train volunteer docents and teachers to deliver a series of 8 nutrition lessons to elementary school students in grades 2 and 6.

The ‘ĀINA Food Guide & Eating “Close to the Source” 

The ʻĀINA Food Guide is a central piece of the ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Curriculum and is a tool students and their families can use to make healthy eating choices. It depicts familiar, locally available foods split into five food categories that are defined by the health impacts they have on our bodies: Protective, Energy, Body-Building, Brain and Caution Foods. Whole foods, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains, are as close to their natural form as possible. The phrase, “close to the source” is a recurring theme throughout this curriculum as we help students understand that these foods are whole, unprocessed, and not only good for us but also good for the environment.

2nd Grade Lessons focus on the following concepts: eating foods that are close to the source; protective foods with vitamins, minerals, and fiber; energy foods with whole grains; body-building foods with protein and calcium; brain foods with high quality fats; caution foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt. Lessons also include evaluating foods by reading food labels and finding “red flag” ingredients and considering the environmental impacts of our food choices. Each lesson includes a student worksheet and take-home letter for students to share with their families.

6th Grade Lessons cover the following concepts: eating foods that are close to the source, the importance of eating a balanced breakfast, evaluating foods by reading food labels and finding “red flag” ingredients, considering the environmental impacts of our food choices, understanding body cues of hunger/satiation, decoding food labels to determine appropriate portion sizes, and utilizing food marketing techniques to design a healthy food advertisement. Each lesson includes a student worksheet and take-home letter for students to share with their families.

Getting Involved & Learning More

  • Educators are welcome to attend semi-annual trainings on ʻĀINA In Schools nutrition lessons.
  • Lessons and resources are available for download from our resources page by registered users.
  • Any Hawaiʻi school may apply for a Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Mini-Grant to fund supplies used in ʻĀINA In Schools nutrition education lessons.
  • To support ʻĀINA In Schools, contact [email protected].
  • Subscribe to KHF and ʻĀINA In Schools e-newsletters for the latest information.