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NEEDs for Bones

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Penn State University. College of Health and Human Development.

The four lessons in NEEDs (Nutrition Education Engineering & Designs) for Bones are designed to educate 11-14 year olds about calcium and its impact on health. Most adolescents do not get the calcium they need for their growth and development, and many adolescents do not meet the daily requirement for vigorous physical activity. Adolescents can use the information taught in NEEDs for Bones to make informed choices during food selection at home and away from home.

Funding Source
USDA. FNS. SNAP-Ed. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and The Pennsylvania State University
Free Material
Cost ($)
  • Pilot Tested
Evaluation Information

Developed with middle school teacher input and piloted with middle school students to inform revisions. As of June 2012, NEEDs for Bones has been used by more than 12 classes in Central Pennsylvania. A review of NEEDs for Bones is slated for publication in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
A readability formula was not used, but hundreds of students have completed surveys and teachers report no difficulty with reading level.
Read an overview of practice-based evidence.

SNAP-Ed Connection Comments

Four lessons make up the curriculum: -"Enjoy Calcium-Rich Foods" provides an overview of calcium needs and Calcium-rich foods. -"Calcium Case Studies" uses case studies and food labels to determine Calcium intake of typical middle-schoolers in several examples. Reviews non-dairy/lactose calcium sources. -"Where's 'Cal?'" teaches students about calcium-rich choices that are available at convenience stores and provides the "knowledge of skilled marketers" to encourage students to make healthier convenience store choices. -"Fast 'Cal'" provides students with information on calcium-rich choices and encourages healthier choices when eating at fast food restaurants.
Each lesson includes a complete lesson plan, facilitated discussion, learning activities, and taste testing experiences, weight bearing physical activity, wrap-up discussion, and an optional "extend-the-lesson" writing assignment for participants. A comprehensive evaluation tool is also included with the kit, along with detailed evaluation instructions.