Mom of Picky Eater

Volunteering at my kid’s school to teach nutritional education: Part 1

I decided to do my part and volunteer at my daughter’s school by teaching kids about healthy foods. I am holding 4 classes for each of the three kindergarten classes and then if it works out, I will do the same for the first graders. My kindergartener is not my picky eater, by the way, my three year old is, so I brought him along for the first two classes in hopes that he might also get excited by the foods.

The first class was about Whole Grains. I brought in samples of all kinds of whole grains for kids to touch and see for themselves so they could remember what a whole grain is. Examples were:

  • oatmeal
  • brown rice (and I let them compare it to white rice)
  • popcorn kernels
  • corn on the cob
  • quinoa
  • bulghar
  • whole wheat pasta (I showed it next to white pasta)
  • whole wheat flour (I showed it next to white flour)

We talked a little about why whole grains are good for the body, focusing on the fiber that fills you up, and the nutrients that are good for your body. Any explanation much beyond that and they were lost because, well, they are 5 and 6 years old.

Next we made oatmeal/ whole wheat cookies so they could see how easy it is to add whole grains to their diets but still eat delicious foods. We also made popcorn and oatmeal with flavors like cinnamon and added raisins. We also looked at the difference between whole wheat bread and white bread. To my delight, many kids had already tried whole wheat pasta and they liked it. My goal was to show kids and their parents how easy it is to incorporate whole grains into their diets.

The class was a hit and I went back to teach fruits today. I’ll blog about that next so stay tuned.

Rachael’s recipes with whole grains include:

Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese for the Family

Cauliflower Sauce with Whole Wheat Penne

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

peaspenne.jpg

More Peas if You Please Penne can be made with whole wheat penne.


4 Responses to “Volunteering at my kid’s school to teach nutritional education: Part 1”

  1. Lily says:

    I was thought of Rachel Ray as the Jamie Oliver of the USA. I hope she will use her influence to change the country’s cafeteria food. We need her support !

  2. i think that was a good thing of u to do :)

  3. Debbie says:

    Getting into schools & teaching kids about food is so important. Unfortunately, this topic is rarely covered in standard curriculum. I volunteered with a program in the NY area called Cookshop last year. We visited a kindergarten class weekly to explore and cook with a fruit or vegetable. It was amazing to see that the kids would truly try anything after they’d been a part of making it! I’m now working on a class to teach kids about taste & flavor. I think developing a vocabulary and awareness about eating food is another key area of food education that isn’t typically offered. You can read more about it at: http://swingsetkitchens.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/teaching-kids-to-cook-and-taste/

    I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

  4. Christy says:

    Here is an award winning elementary school nutrition curriculum if it can be of help to you. Thanks for your good work!

    http://www.foodstudies.org/Curriculum/index.htm

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