I was a little nervous today in launching a new curriculum, “Eating Real”, with 4th-6th graders. With any new program, I wanted to make sure I could keep the kids interested and engaged and that things would run smoothly.
It went great! The graphics and charts offered by the Food Day Curriculum worked really well. The kids in the group were great, most of them already had some experience with cooking and even knew a lot about nutrition. I’m so glad I offered this program to the older kids. Most of them already knew about the food groups, so the MyPlate Program that I offer to the younger kids may have been redundant for this age group.
We discussed the difference between real “whole foods” (food that comes directly from plants and animals) vs. processed foods. The kids understood the concept and the charts made it really easy for them to see. They could easily think of certain foods and figure out if they are processed a lot or a little. For example, we talked about the difference between corn on the cob, canned corn and corn cereal. It was easy to see which was the whole food, which was processed a little and which was processed a lot.
We made a simple fruit salad for our prep portion of the class. Many of the kids have had experience with cutting, so things ran really smoothly. Not all the kids liked everything in the salad, but they all got to experience preparing it and got a healthy snack at the end.
At the beginning of class I talked about how we are a team, just like a team of chefs in a kitchen. The kids worked really well together, helping each other and cleaning up together. I was really happy with the way the kids worked together.
At the end of class, I sent them home with an assignment: to make an action plan around eating whole foods instead of processed foods. I’m not sure they all understood the concept. I wanted them to pick foods in a similar family, like grilled chicken instead of chicken nuggets or strawberries instead of a fruit roll up. But many of the kids didn’t make the connection. That said, they all understood the difference between whole foods and processed foods, so I think the take away was still positive. We’ll see how well they did next week!
Anyway, it was great to work with the kids yesterday. It ran smoothly and I think they had a good time! Can’t wait for next week when we talk about “Mostly Plants”!