Targeted Community Nutrition: GO G.R.E.E.N!!

Targeted Community Nutrition

The targeted community nutrition (TCN) activity held on August 2nd, 2012 was for 5th and 6th graders from the Shack Neighborhood House. The theme of this week’s TCN was the color green. I was the lead for this TCN and I started to prepare the lesson around 9am. The students were arriving at 10am. I prepared the lesson by hanging the MyPlate poster on the chalkboard and wrote the acronym for the day “GO G.R.E.E.N.” G stood for gaining information about what healthy foods there are available, R stood for the range of different types of fruits and vegetables to choose from, E stood for knowing what to eat and why, E stood for fruits and vegetables provide energy, and N stood for now is the time that you should start eating these types. I pointed out to the students that half of the MyPlate poster was made up of fruits and vegetables. So, getting all these into their meals everyday was really important to grow strong and healthy. I asked the students to name some of their favorite fruits and vegetables. Then asked why do we need fruits and vegetables every day? They replied “to grow strong and healthy!”.

Next, the class broke down into groups. Each group was assigned a snack to prepare. There were 7 recipes total. I prepared 1 in advance for the class to try while trying other stations. The first station was Sailboat Eggs. These were a spin on deviled eggs. The filling in the eggs consisted of avocados, green peppers, black pepper, and low sodium hot sauce. I instructed the students how to peel and slice length-wise the hard boiled eggs. We also went over how to slice and gut an avocado.

Station 2 was the cucumber cream cheese sandwiches. This station was prepared in advance so, the students only had to slice the cucumbers, which we went over, and demonstrate how to spread cream cheese.

Station 3 was the Hearts of Palm Salad and Spicy Tuna Salad area. The students were instructed to rinse all vegetables before peeling or preparing.  We went over things like how to open canned tuna, how to slice green olives, and how to measure low-fat vinaigrette dressing.

Station 4 was the Pear PB&J Star area. The bread was already toasted for this group. So, I instructed the students how to open the cans, drain the pear juice, and then use a cookie cutter to cut each slice of bread into a star shape. Next, we went over how to slice the canned pears, spread peanut butter on the bread, and I let the students distribute the strawberry preserves as they pleased. This group really enjoyed it because their bread was shaped into stars.

Station 5 was the Shamrock Shake area. Leah Gecheo helped these students out with using the blender and showed them how to measure the instant Jell-O ingredients into the blender as well.

Before the students arrived I had already started baking Gingersnap-Baked Pears for another visual to allow the students to taste test another green food example while they were trying the other stations. As you can tell, the theme of all 7 of the recipes was the color green so, every snack had a green ingredient…

As for the final part of the demonstration, the second half of the kitchen had magazines, blank paper, scissors, and tape for the students to create their own nutrition collages. I gave the students about 20-25 minutes to complete this while I walked around and helped the students choose pictures out of the magazines. Several students asked questions about foods like “Is this considered healthy?” and “Can I use this picture?”.  Then for the last 10-15 minutes of class, I asked students to come up to the front of the class and show everyone their collage and explain why they chose these foods, why are these foods good for us, and what are different ways we can make these foods.

Overall, the kids loved it. They learned about fruits and vegetables, were interactive with the kitchen surroundings while making their own snacks, and even had the opportunity to create collages about their favorite fruits and vegetables.Image

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