Nutrition and Cooking with your child
By Lisa Niver Rajna
Students love to learn about themselves and their bodies Inside your Outside, from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library by Trish Rabe, is a story that has an Inside-Your-Outside machine. At the end of the story after learning all about our bodies the reader discovers:
Your lungs will get bigger, your muscles grow stronger.
Your brain and your heart will guide all you do.
Someone special is inside your outside—it’s YOU!
We all want vibrant good health for our children and ourselves. I have been adding more information about nutrition and the human body to many of the classes (GRADE 1?) I teach.
I would like to share some of my favorite sites and links with you.
In Kindergarten, we study the organ systems of our bodies and draw them on t-shirts: heart, lungs, spine, and others. A great site for putting it all together is Arnold. The students love to help Arnold get his body parts all in the right place.
In the First Grade, our nutrition unit is excerpted from “Nutrition Explorations” and we are assisting Lil’ D the dragon to learn about a healthy life style. The Royal Food Family is teaching Lil’ D good foods to eat. The dragon lost all his scales from eating junk food; he complains about how his stomach hurts and he has no energy to play soccer. The children love to help the dragon learn and recently we have tasted Kale and Asparagus as part of our learning. We also made foods from the grain group.
Due to food allergies, our zucchini and banana bread recipes are nut free, dairy free, egg free as well as gluten free! When I adapted the recipes, I was not sure how they would turn out. It was a true experiment but two Kindergarten and two First Grade classes later; I can promise you kids like it and it tastes great! Both recipes list in their ingredients either eggs, yogurt or applesauce, so use whichever you want! If you the dish to be dairy-free, you can use applesauce instead of yogurt. For egg-free you can use yogurt or applesauce. To make the recipes gluten-free, just use gluten- free flour like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour.
The younger students also love to play nutrition games with Lil’ D. My third graders have enjoyed the antics of Arianna Bones and the Case of the Missing Food Groups! They love to play Food Force One! It has amazing maps and the students have to find all the ingredients to create several different foods.
I hope that you have a wonderful summer with lots of experiences involving science, health and great nutrition. In revising how we regard their far-reaching attributes, and with our yearning for a healthy family and planet, I leave you with these words from Franklin D. Roosevelt:
If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships–the ability of all people, of all kinds, to live together in the same world at peace.
Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. has over 12 years of classroom teaching experience and an additional 11 years working in camps and on cruise ships.