Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fun with nutrition *Updated*

There's just something about FOOD that makes learning fun! You may remember last year's McDonald's experiment. HOO BOY that was nast-ay. We're not getting nearly that gross this year. With the little ones it's all about learning to classify the food groups... which resulted in my effective, yet somewhat creepy teachable moment in the lunchroom today: "Woooow! Look! Our lunch has all four food groups in it! Everybody point to your grain product! Point to your meat! Where's your vegetables? Uh oh! Lenny, where are your veggies? Ok, everybody point to your milk product! Hooray! All four food groups! This must be a healthy lunch!" [This must be a scary greasy mystery meat 'chicken burger' whose stench makes me wanna hurl. And this, folks, is why TEACHERS, not hollywood types should get Oscars.]

But I digress.

We've rocketed our way through fruits and vegetables, grain products, and meat and alternates. Milk products is next and by hook or by crook, I'm fitting it (and Easter, and St Patrick's Day, and the rest of the sexual abuse prevention kit, and a spring time art activity) in by Friday. GAK!

But oh what fun we've been having! For the fruits and veggies group, we read the book "Stone Soup." Everybody brought in their favourite veggie, cut it up, and we made soup from a stone, learning that sharing makes all things so much better. (aw!!) They LOVED cutting the vegetables... but hated the soup! Only one kid ate it. Monique,* one of my little know-it-all grade ones [who, when other kids were giving words like "ball" and "box" for words that started with the letter B, came up with "blush" and "beauty"] suggested, "You know, it probably would have tasted better if you had used chicken stock." Right.

So. Stone Soup. They all loved it, and learned a lot about vegetables from it. Er, too bad they didn't learn that vegetables taste GOOD. Better luck next year.

For grain products, I hijacked my friend's bread maker and today we made bread! They were SO excited to put all the ingredients in, see the dough rise, and then eat the fresh, hot bread, complete with butter and honey. Mmmm! The whole hallway smelled of fresh bread all afternoon! (Better than the cabbage smell that filled it when we were making our soup last week. Er, sorry guys!)

We intro'd meat and alternates today, but I'm not really sure what to do for that one. "Here kids! Let's sample a pork chop and some ground chuck!" Er, no. It's ok, we don't have a lot of time, anyway. Maybe I'll think of something for next year.

But milk? Oh THIS one is going to be fan-tastic! I was just gonna give them all ice cream as a treat till I learned this super-stupendous fact: Did you know (you probably did, cause you're already smartie mcsmartiepantses, but I'm learning all this as I go and it's SO FUN!) that you can MAKE ice cream simply by putting a cream/sugar/vanilla mix into a small ziplock, putting the small ziplock into a large ziplock with ice, and shaking it for 5 minutes?!?!?! Can we say, most awesome activity EVER? (even if only for the fact that 5 solid minutes of shaking a heavy bag will tire out my overly-hyped up orangutans? That's gotta be the best part!)

Now the question is, do we do that on Thursday, which will be tricky to be ready for, or on Friday, when we've also got our classroom Easter Egg hunt planned? (Heh. Maybe we should talk about "foods to limit" on Friday, too. "Ok, kids, now chocolate and candy are foods to limit. AND THERE'S OODLES OF IT HIDDEN ALL OVER THE CLASSROOM! GO FIND IT!"

*** UPDATE ***

Um, DUH!!! Clearly I missed the glaringly OBVIOUS. Seriously. Hip hip HOORAY for AfricaBleu for pointing it out to me. Meats & Alternatves + Easter + "Gee, what on earth am I going to do for an Easter activity" = DYE EASTER EGGS!!!! What? Seriously? I didn't think of that??? I was even at school yesterday wondering how he heck to make paper Easter eggs for art and reading the nutrition booklet thingy that was weirdly obsessed with talking about eggs instead of other meats/alternatives. And yet I didn't connect the two. Riiiiight. HOO-RAY for AfricaBleu.

See? That's why I love you people! You save my LIFE.


Jean said...

man....i wish i was in 1st grade again. you'd be my favoritist teacher ever!

AfricaBleu said...

You are AWESOME--teacher of the year, for sure. What fun!

Hey, did you already skip meat? 'Cause you could combine nutrition with Easter and boil some eggs and have the kids color them--if you don't want to mess with dye, I think they have these waxy Easter crayons you can color eggs with. One year for Easter (when my kids were toddlers) I decided to go natural on our Easter eggs and we used ONLY food products for dye--red cabbage made them blue, tumeric made them yellow, coffee made them brown, beet juice made them pink. It was TEDIOUS process, but the kids had a ball with it, and the eggs were very pleasing "natural" colors.

Um...how did I get on THAT subject?
Have fun with your chocolate hunt!

AfricaBleu said...

Hehe. It's because I don't have to actually entertain a roomful of little ones every day of my life--ONE idea, I can come up with. I would have neh-ver been able to think up all those fab exercises you've already done with them.

But I'm glad it helped.

The Shan said...

I've known AfricaBleu since college. Trust me she is a wealth of info and a hootenanny to boot. My BFF.

Boy oh boy, is school really that much more fun in Canada? I suspect it's all you and the way you seem to enjoy and soak up life at every turn! :)
I was just listening to a FUNNY story on NPR's This American Life about Canadians and how we never know who is Canadian and who isn't and it feels kinda funny to hear "They're Canadian" thrown in when someone is talking about a celebrity or someone who is an American staple. I thought of you and the Daily Dancer (who's blog I used to enjoy but I think he stopped dancing). I can't tell you are from another country but I'm sure there are some subtle and refreshing differences betwixt our cultures. Good grief I am long winded! Hope you get all your goals accomplished this week!

Melissa said...

The ice cream thing... I'd suggest you try that one at home first. I'm envisioning an end result of cold (but still liquidy) sugary cream!

I probably would have copped out and used the chocolate eggs from the hunt for my dairy, but you're much cooler than I am ;)

(Why is it that everyone's blogs keep talking about food and making me so darned hungry!)

Becca in Texas said...

Really, can you move down here to Texas and teach at my boys school? You are so awesome. Bubba would love how tactile your lessons are, he is very curious and needs to touch things to understand.

Shle said...

I totally made ice cream last week with the kids i'm on practicum with! ! ! HAVE FUN! ! ! OR.. had fun??? HEE HEE HEE..
Hows things?

Erin said...

I have a really cute song about the food pyramid. It's part of our program next month that we have to do for the PTA. Remind me to send it to you sometime.

heather said...

all this sounds fabulous! what fun activities. i LOVE Stone Soup - and I remember it tasted great when we made it in elementary school...maybe chicken stock IS the key.