March is National Nutrition Month and I have started to celebrate with my third graders!
Have you ever eaten lunch with your students? As a reward for good behavior, some students choose to purchase “lunch with the teacher" with their money they earned. When I eat lunch with these students, it never ceases to amaze me the foods they are eating. Unfortunately, I am not amazed in a good way but a sad way. Classic example: one of my students brought a bag of Doritos and Cheetos- THAT’S IT!!- for their lunch…that’s it! The student poured both baggies onto his tray, mixed it up, and that was his lunch!! It pained me!
Which is why I get so excited for March to roll around! I am one of those people who really do enjoy working out (can’t run a marathon if you don’t!) and eating chia seeds with my plain Greek yogurt and wild organic blueberries mixed in. I don’t even give my pup dog food- nope! Home cooked soup every night for him and a healthy breakfast in the morning. Now, in the same breath, I must admit that I have a *slight* addiction to Coke and just may have given it up for Lent. (Four weeks strong, but who’s counting?")
Since my students are allowed to bring “healthy” snack to eat in the classroom, I use it as a perfect opportunity to conduct our official Fat Test Experiment and Sugar Shock Experiment, which jumpstart our nutrition unit. I like to set up these two activities up as a science inquiry, where students develop their own questions and ideas about what is happening, versus me just telling them, “Sugar is bad for you, don’t eat it!”
For one of our first experiments, students go into:
To go into further sugar shock, I tell my students to record their food/snacks/drinks in a food log for a day. Then, we measure out the amount of sugar that they eat in an entire DAY!!
A fat test!
I then teach my students about the difference between good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats ) and bad fats (trans fats and saturated fats). I bring examples of good fats, such as extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO as Rachel Ray says), nuts, seeds, and fish.
On the other hand, the fat that their snack has is the “bad fat,” which clogs arteries and promotes obesity. I don’t need to bring any examples of bad fats, because as you can see below, they always have plenty of examples of these:
If you are looking to turn your students into nutritionists and create their own fat and sugar test (among many other lessons/activities), you may be interested in our newly revised nutrition file:
Here is a snapshot of the activities in this unit:
Please click HERE to purchase this file on TpT.
I will post another idea for nutrition this week. In the meantime…
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