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INTRODUCTION

This project contains two parts. First, you’ll research and discuss food safety, including sanitation requirements, food storage, preparation, and proper food handling, as well as presentations that make food appetizing for children. Second, you’ll be required to create a one-week menu, including snacks, for your selected age group following the food guide now known as “Choose My Plate.” We’ve included images of the traditional food pyramid and the new “Choose My Plate” plan for you to use as a reference, but you may wish to refer to the ChooseMyPlate.gov website for more detailed information.

PART 1: ESSAY

Food safety sanitation requirements, storage, preparation, proper food handling, and presentation are the first steps in ensuring proper diet and nutrition for a child’s health and welfare. Using the Internet, research proper methods for each of these areas for your chosen age group and then write a 400–500 word essay about what you’ve learned. Make sure you’ve used your own words or used proper citations, if quoting directly. Include a Works Cited page for any web- sites you’ve consulted. Name your file using your student information, like this: student number_exam number_ last name_ first name. The exam number for this project is 605847.

PART 2: CREATING A MENU

For this part of your project, you’ll select an age group for which you’ll plan a week’s menu that includes three meals a day, plus snacks. See Figures 1 and 2, which illustrate the older food guide pyramid and the simpler Choose My Plate food guide, which shows the proportions of a child’s plate

to be filled with each food group. FIGURE 1—The USDA food pyramid shows the propor- tion of foods from each food group to be eaten daily. From left, the sections represent grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein.

FIGURE 2—Choose My Plate simplifies choosing the right proportions of foods by showing that half of the daily diet should comprise vegetables and fruit and the other half grains and protein, with the emphasis on vegeta- bles and grains. The circle represents milk or other dairy products.

On your submission, be sure to clearly identify the age group you’ve selected. The age groups for this project are

• Children 1–2 years old • Children 3–5 years old After carefully reviewing the nutritional information, you’ll use the menu template provided to create a five-day menu for your chosen age group. Take into account the nutritional needs (calories, recommended dietary intake, and food sources for vitamins, minerals, and nutrients) for the age group you’re working with. We’ve included a sample menu with one day’s menu completed to show you how it should look.

PREPARING YOUR PROJECT

When you’ve completed your essay and planned your menu for all five days in the age group you’ve chosen, you’ll transfer your menu information onto the menu template. To do so, go to your student portal and locate the Word file titled “Menu Project Template.” Copy and paste the menu template into the same document as your Part 1 essay. Title the menu “Part 2: Creating a Menu.” Using the sample menu as a guide, complete your menu and save your file.

When you’ve completed both the essay and the menu, check them carefully for errors. Run the spell check and grammar check, and pay attention to the red and green lines that mark possible errors. However, you must also proofread for errors that the computer doesn’t pick up, such as mistakes in grammar and missing or misused words or punctuation.

Note: If you can’t copy the menu template from the Word file, you may photocopy the template on page 46 and mail your project to the school. Make sure your menu is neat and legible.

Food Groups

To make knowledgeable selections, you need to know what’s included in each food group. Here are the basic components of each food group, although you may find additional options during your research.Protein

Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. Some protein foods are highly allergenic; find out if children in your group have allergies.

Note: Take special care with children who are allergic to eggs, nuts, or other foods.

The following protein foods may be used as part of a healthful menu:

• Beef • Poultry • Fish • Eggs • Nuts and seeds • Beans and peas (black beans, split peas) • Lentils • Tofu • Veggie burgers

Grains

Whole-grain products such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice are recommended because they have more fiber and help provide feelings of fullness.

• Cereal • Rice • Tortillas • Pasta

Note: Avoid sugary cereals. Choose from the following grain-based foods as part of a

healthful menu plan: • Bread Dairy

Using the Choose My Plate guidelines, the dairy circle could be fulfilled with up to a cup of milk at each serving (depending on age), but you also can use yogurt or cheese for dairy serv- ings. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy most of the time for children over two years of age.

Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends whole milk for children 1–2 years of age.

The following dairy-based foods may be part of a healthful menu plan:

• Milk • Yogurt • Cheese • Fortified soy milk

Fruits

Fruit servings may be fresh, frozen, or dried, but fresh is always the best choice. Try to avoid using canned fruits packed in syrup, as they contain too much sugar. If you must use canned fruit, choose the kind that’s packed in juice without added sugar.

Note: Many children have allergies to strawberries and bananas, as well as other, more exotic fruits.

Vegetables

Once again, fresh is best! Frozen is a good second choice, but canned vegetables are often loaded with salt. Look for low-salt or salt-free varieties if you must buy canned vegetables.

Note: Vegetables are a great source of vitamins, so children should be encouraged to try as many as possible.

Graded Project

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