Each age group of students requires a different approach. Through Extension, I have had the privilege of working with populations across various spectrums of age and socioeconomic status.
This week, we are teaching 5-8 year olds. Attempting to educate a group of children about a topic as complex and as nutrition is an exciting challenge.
The first day this week, we did not have enough hands-on activities to keep the children engaged. After teaching, we took some time to go back to the office, and came up with the following teaching tool.
We were already planning to teach about “Go”, “Slow” and “Whoa” foods, but decided to create posters where the children tape on examples of different foods to reinforce the concepts. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides the following explanation of this categorizing of foods:
GO Foods are:
- Lowest in fat and sugar
- Relatively low in calories
- “Nutrient dense” (rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important to health)
- Great to eat anytime
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- Lean meat, poultry, fish
- Beans, eggs, and nuts
SLOW Foods are:
- Higher in fat, added sugar, and calories
- To be eaten sometimes/less often
WHOA Foods are:
- Highest in fat and added sugar
- “Calorie-dense” (high in calories)
- Often low in nutrients
- To be eaten only once in a while/on special occasions, in small portions
This interactive teaching tool was a hit among the children.
In addition to teaching a nutrition lesson, we spend some time making the afternoon snack for camp. Here’s the recipe we used today:
Extra Easy Hummus
1 Can (15.5 ounce) Garbanzo beans, drain and reserve juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
In mixer or food processor mix the beans until smooth. Add garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil. Blend together. Paste may be thick, so you can add reserved juice until desired consistency is reached.
Yield: makes 6 servings.
Source: Family Nutrition Program, WVU Extension Service.