The IDOF Curriculum


  • Full Curriculum | In Defense of Food

    Welcome to the In Defense of Food (IDOF) Curriculum. It is designed to help adolescents develop something valuable: practical tools for healthier eating. It helps students learn why it is important to eat healthfully, investigate how food companies influence their food choices, and create action plans for changing their eating habits. They become motivated to eat real food, and excited to share what they’ve learned with their family, friends, and community.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Curriculum Introduction | In Defense of Food

    This section includes an overview of the curriculum, ideas for how to get started, and snapshots of the curriculum’s key features. The “How to use this curriculum” section helps educators see how lessons are structured to be clear and easy to use.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Curriculum First Bites | In Defense of Food

    Each lesson opens with a one-page First Bite. These give educators insights into the context of the lesson and why the topic is important for middle schoolers. First Bites may also be shared with school administrators and parents.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 1: Where are the Soda Trees? | In Defense of Food

    Using film clips from In Defense of Food and a team activity, students explore healthy eating habits. Students get excited about becoming food defenders and begin learning how to differentiate between food (whole and minimally processed) and phud (highly processed).

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 2: Chemical Cuisine | In Defense of Food

    By exploring the ingredients in various foods and phuds, students experience first-hand how phuds are engineered to taste irresistible. Students learn and discuss a new Food Rule around eating foods with easily pronounceable ingredients. 

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 3: Claim Game | In Defense of Food

    Using a clip from In Defense of Food and photos of food packaging, students uncover five "tricky techniques" companies use to sell food products. Then, students create plans to eat foods instead of phuds to avoid the allure of clever packaging. For the first of three Capture It projects, students take a photo or draw a picture of a phud they want to stop eating or eat less of and write about why. 

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 4: Don't Be Phooled | In Defense of Food

    This is the first lesson of the "Not Too Much" section and builds on the five "tricky techniques" explored in Lesson 3. Students learn that phud logos are everywhere and easily recognized and explore more about the hazards of marketing. For the second "Capture It" project students take a photo or draw a picture of one phud that is really hard for them to resist and write about why that is.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 5: Supersized | In Defense of Food

    In this lesson, students examine portion sizes and how our eyes, as well as food companies, may deceive us in estimating a healthy amount to eat. Through popcorn experiments, along with a clip from In Defense of Food, students learn how to "small size it" and select healthier portions.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 6: Dia-Beat It! | In Defense of Food

    In this lesson students investigate the changing prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes and learn how this disease develops. Through watching an In Defense of Food clip and participating in a simulation activity, students investigate the impact of diabetes on our nation's youth and calculate the surprising amount of sugar in common foods and beverages. Finally students write a spoken word poem on how sugar and sugary phuds impact their lives.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 7: Rooting for Plants | In Defense of Food

    This is the first lesson in the “Mostly Plants” section. Students are introduced to the amazing variety of plant-based foods and relate that to MyPlate, our national dietary guidance. Watching a clip from In Defense of Food and learning the Food Rule emphasize eating plant-based foods instead of phuds.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 8: Color Your World | In Defense of Food

    In this lesson, students play a guessing game to explore different fruits and vegetables, emphasizing the diversity of colorful foods available for them to eat. Students prepare and eat a colorful, plant-based salad and brainstorm ways to introduce more colorful plant-based foods in to their diets. For the third Capture It project, students take a photo or draw a picture of a plant-based food that they like to eat with a friend or family member and write about why they like it.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 9: Lettuce Turnip the Beet | In Defense of Food

    In this lesson students explore plant-based foods enjoyed by their own and other families and cultures and how to face challenges to healthy eating. Students look back on prior lessons to see how they have become "food defenders" who want to eat more food and less phud.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Lesson 10: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. | In Defense of Food

    In this final lesson a clip from In Defense of Food shows students the vibrant food movement that is springing up across the country. In a final celebration, students share their final projects with the class and think about how they can maintain the eating changes they have made and help their peers do the same.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Curriculum Student Sheets | In Defense of Food

    This is a compilation of all of the activity sheets that are interspersed throughout Lessons 1-10. They are aggregated here for educators who want to print all of the sheets at once as an activity book for students.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Curriculum Family Sheets | In Defense of Food

    This is a compilation of all of the take home Family Sheets from Lessons 1-10. These help students bring messages learned in the In Defense of Food Curriculum back to their families. The Family Sheets also have tips that are practical ideas for how to follow the Food Rules at home.

    Grades: 6-8,13+
  • Curriculum Family Sheets (Español) | In Defense of Food

    Comparte las lecciones aprendidas en el plan de estudios En defense de la comida con sus familias para crear un dialogo en el hogar acerca de una alimentacion saludable.

    Grades: 6-8,13+

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