Good health and nutrition is a topic covered across the board in the LDS Youth and Scouting programs. Here’s another FHE to help your kids learn a gospel principle and fulfill some requirements at the same time.
Super Charged FHE: Word of Wisdom
Print out a food pyramid guide like this one found at MyPyramid.gov.
Make a batch of cupcakes ahead of time. For a few of them (enough for each person in your family to have one), pour half the batter into the muffin tin, place a little pile of dirt in the center, then cover with the rest of the batter. Bake as usual, but be sure not to mix them up with your regular cupcakes. Make only enough so each person in your family could have one.
Frost all the cupcakes, putting sprinkles only on the cupcakes filled with dirt.
Make sure no one knows about the dirt!
The Word of Wisdom, Children’s Hymn #154
Or, you know, a song you actually know.
Bring out two plates of cupcakes, one with the frosted, good cupcakes and the other with the sprinkle-covered, dirt-filled cupcakes. Explain that each person may choose one cupcake, any one they like, but that you advise against the one with sprinkles. When they ask why, don’t explain it. Just say they’re free to choose for themselves.
Once everyone has made their choice and eaten (or tried to eat, as the case may be) their cupcake, relate this to the Word of Wisdom. Some people will try to make things like alcohol and drugs seem appealing but really it’s bad for you.
(This same object lesson works great for the topic of obedience. Just like your family members didn’t know why you said not to eat the sprinkle-covered cupcakes, we don’t always know why we’re told to do certain things, but we trust Heavenly Father, Jesus, our leaders, our parents, etc and obey anyway.)
Just as I acted as a guide to help you know which cupcakes to eat, we have a guide that helps us know how to take care of our bodies. What is it?
Read Doctrine & Covenants 89:1-4. Why were we given this commandment?
Explain that the next verses warn us about the dirt-filled cupcakes. Ask family members to watch for them as someone reads verses 5-9. Ask what we’re warned to stay away from? Elaborate on the why’s if desired.
Explain that we’re also told how to take care of our bodies so they can be healthy and strong. God created our bodies and knows all about them and how to take care of them. Read verses 10-17 and discuss key points.
What blessings come to us if we follow the counsel outlined in these scriptures? Read verses 18-21 and discuss.
Review and discuss the food pyramid. Depending on what requirements you’re trying to fulfill, you may also want to fill in meal planners like this one.
More cupcakes! (That’s healthy, right?)
This lesson at least partially fulfills the following requirements:
Reinforces My Gospel Standards (from Faith in God): “I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.”
Faith in God – Learning and Living the Gospel #7: “Read Doctrine & Covenants 89. Discuss how Heavenly Father blesses us when we faithfully live the Word of Wisdom. Help plan and conduct an activity to teach the Word of Wisdom to others.”
Faith in God – Serving Others #4: “Plan, prepare, and serve a nutritious meal.”
Faith in God – Developing Talents #9: “Learn about and practice good nutrition, good health, and good grooming, including modest dress. ”
Personal Progress Knowledge Value Project idea 3: “Read Doctrine and Covenants 89. Consider what you can do to be more physically fit. Improve your health by developing and implementing a regular fitness program and learning to cook and eat food that is part of a healthful diet.”
Duty to God – Deacon Educational, Career requirement 12: “Read the Word of Wisdom in Doctrine & Covenants 89 and explain to a parent or priesthood leader what is meant by “and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures.”
Wolf Cub Scout requirement 8a: “Study the Food Guide Pyramid. Name some foods from each of the food groups shown in the pyramid.”
Wolf Cub Scout requirement 8b: “Plan the meals you and your family should have for one day. List things your family should have from the food groups shown in the Food Group Pyramid. At each meal, you should have foods from at least three food groups.”
Wolf Cub Scout requirement 12b: “[Discuss the following scenario] There is an older boy who hangs around Jason’s school. He tries to give drugs to the children. What would you do if you were Jason?”
Bear Cub Scout requirement 9d: “Make a list of the ‘junk foods’ you eat. Discuss ‘junk food’ with a parent or teacher.”
Webelos Scout Athlete activity badge requirement 2: “Explain what it means to be physically and mentally healthy.”
Webelos Scout Athlete activity badge requirement 3: “Explain what you as a Webelos Scout can do to stay physically and mentally healthy.”
Several requirements in the Webelos Scout Fitness activity badge.
Physical Fitness cub scout pin requirement 1: “Make a diagram of the Food Guide Pyramid. List foods you ate in a week and show where they fit in the pyramid. ”
Athletics Merit Badge requirement 2c: “[Explain] the importance of maintaining a healthy diet.”
Several requirements from the Cooking Merit Badge, especially requirements 2, 3 and 7.
Several requirements from the Personal Fitness Merit Badge, including requirement 3c: “Do you understand the meaning of a nutritious diet and know why it is important for you? Does your diet include foods from all the food groups?”
Public Health Merit Badge requirement 6b: “Describe health dangers from tobacco use and alcohol and drug abuse.” [Discussion should include dangers within the context of society at large. I haven't read this merit badge booklet, but I'm sure there's good information in it regarding this topic.]
These requirements coordinate nicely if you have children in these programs:
Physical Fitness cub scout belt loop requirement 1: “Give a short report to your den or family on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.”
Personal Progress Good Works requirement 2: “Service is an essential principle of family living. Help plan your family’s menus, obtain the food, and prepare part of the meals for two weeks. During that time help your family gather to share mealtimes. Report to your class what you have learned.”
Personal Progress Good Works Value Project idea 2: “Prepare to be a homemaker by collecting recipes, shopping for food, and preparing meals for your family.”
Boy Scout First Class rank requirement 4a: “Help plan a patrol menu for one campout that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner and that requires cooking at least two meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from the food pyramid and meets nutritional needs.”
After fulfilling Family Life Merit Badge requirement 6a (“Discuss with your merit badge counselor how to plan and carry out a family meeting.”), your son can build on this FHE by fulfilling requirement 6b: “Plan and carry out a family meeting to include the subject of avoiding substance abuse.”
Be aware that Tiger Cub Scouts have a Den activity on this theme, requirement 3D: “Make a food guide pyramid. Complete the Character Connection for Health and Fitness.”