The Fred’s Head blog contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Fred’s Head is offered by the American Printing House for the Blind.

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Fred's Head is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, who passed away on September 21, 2014. Check out the bottom of this page for: subscribing to posts via email; browsing articles by subject; subscribing to RSS feeds; APH resources; the archive of this blog; APH on YouTube; contributing articles to Fred's Head; and disclaimers.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Resources for Accessible Nutrition Education

The holidays are upon us; a time for friends, family, good cheer, and unfortunately for some, bad nutritional habits. With all the shopping to get done and parties to attend, who has time to make good, nutritional choices, let alone teach proper nutrition? Well, APH may be able to assist you with some free tactile graphics and online resources to get you started.
Photo from

In 2011, as part of Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity, MyPlate was introduced as a simplified replacement for the government’s food pyramid. In response, APH has added several MyPlate tactile graphics to the Tactile Graphics Image Library (TGIL), available for free download at

Tactile graphic of myplate

Before you start clicking on all the great links below, we want to take a moment to remind teachers and parents why nutrition is such an important topic. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980[i]. In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese[ii]. (That’s 1 in 3 children in the U.S.!) 

Good nutrition and physical fitness are even more important to children with visual impairments. The need for fitness in children who are blind might be greater because of the increased energy required to complete activities of daily living[iii].Children who are visually impaired consistently exhibited lower levels of fitness than their sighted peers[iv]

The good news is that developing healthy lifestyle habits early, including good nutrition and exercise, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The CDC also maintains that schools play a particularly critical role by providing opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors[v]

So, take advantage of the free MyPlate tactile graphics in APH’s TGIL and print some off for the kids to take home over the holidays. Also, check out some of the online resources listed below for additional information, games, and activities to use in classrooms and at home.

Additional Resources

Choose MyPlate

Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum

Smart Nutrition 101

Let’s Move Initiative
Fitness for Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired or Deafblind

CDC Childhood Obesity and Nutrition Facts

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). Overweight and Obesity. Data and Statistics: Obesity rates among all children in the Untied States.
[ii] Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association2012;307(5):483-490.
[iii] Buell, C. E. (1982). Physical education and recreation for the visually handicapped. Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance.
[iv] Blessing, D. L., McCrimmon, D., Stovall, J., & Williford, H. N. (1993). The effects of regular exercise programs for visually impaired and sighted schoolchildren. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 87, 50-52.
Lieberman, L. J., & McHugh, B. E. (2001). Health related fitness of children with visual impairments and blindness. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 95(5), 272-286.
Skaggs, S., & Hopper, C. (1996). Individuals with visual impairments: A review of psychomotor behavior. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 13(1), 16-26.
Winnick, J. P., & Short F. X. (1985). Physical fitness testing of the disabled. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Winnick, J. P., & Short, F. X. (1999). The Brockport physical fitness test. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
[v] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). Adolescent and School Health. Childhood Obesity Facts: Prevention.

1 comment:

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