An effective phrase for teaching nutrition to children is “eat a rainbow!” The simple idea is that eating fruits and veggies of all different colors builds a healthy diet. We made this a theme on Food Day 2015, and I want to keep building upon it.
Sage Garden has provided us with their notebook of recipes which includes a different color smoothie for each grade. I pulled all of the different colors and am doing “Drink a rainbow!” workshops for my after school students.
I began by setting up the Sage Garden cooking cart with all of the equipment and ingredients laid out and the recipe written on the whiteboard.
Then I gave each pair of students a stack of laminated fruit and vegetable cards produced by the California Department of Education. The students sorted the fruits and veggies into two piles: orange/yellow and other. We talked about all the orange and yellow examples we found.
Students came up one by one for the various jobs: juicing the oranges, peeling the bananas, pressing the limes, adding the strawberries, measuring out the yogurt.
The next week we did purple smoothies, and this week we will blend up red ones. As you can imagine, it’s a very popular class!
Today we started our series of one-hour garden/cooking lessons with our upper grades, adapted from the curriculum from the Sage Garden Project.
It went like this:
10 minutes in the classroom to discuss the theme of “seasonality” and how vegetables can be classified as warm season or cool season. We also ran through glove protocol, hand washing reminders and stern words about consequences for misusing a tool. (I like to set a firm precedent.)
Then to the garden for two 20 minute stations. I took one group to the outdoor kitchen to cook a warm season dish (ratatouille), and the classroom teacher and parent volunteers led their half of the class in preparing raised beds for our late September planting of cool season vegetables.
Then we tasted the ratatouille on baguette slices from a local bakery, the Candied Apple. I also sent home a letter to each family with the recipe and gardening tips for winter gardens. Enough words—look at what fun we had!
Best comment of the day:
“Mrs. Elisara—I hate tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and peppers but I LOVE ratatouille!”