Archive for Healthy Eating

Healthy Snack Lesson

If you followed the blog during the month of May you had the opportunity to step into a public school lunchroom on a daily basis and see exactly what our students are eating.  Your responses confirmed what I had been thinking for a while…what we are serving our kids is not okay.  I am still not 100% sure what the next steps are, but I do know that I would like to take my passions for healthy living and share those with my students.  And if other teachers do the same thing, we can actually make a difference.

So today I would like to share a fun and healthy lesson you can do with students in the classroom…or at home with your kids…or just on your own (because this is a yummy snack!)  We were fortunate enough to have someone from Eat. Right. Now, under the umbrella of the Food Trust, come out and do the lesson with my students.

My students had a great time and one of my favorite comments was when one of them yelled out “Yo…this is like health and math!”  Exactly!  Because while I think that educating students about nutrition and health is very imporant, the reality is that there are time constraints so combining health with another subject helps fit everything into the school day.

The lesson was on healthy snacks and we encouraged the students to choose snacks that are easy to make, have the different food groups represented and are delicious…and these quesadillas definitely fit the requirements!

Supplies Needed:

Whole Wheat Tortillas (grains group)
Black Beans (meat/protein group)
Red Pepper (vegetable group)
Salsa (fruit group…a bit of a stretch, but it works!)
Block of cheddar cheese (dairy group)
Cheese grater
Cutting Board
Paper Plates
Hand Sanitizer

Steps for making the quesadillas…

1. Smash the black beans into a paste with the fork and spread out across one of the tortillas.

2. Grate the cheese and sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top of the black bean paste.

3. Chop up the red pepper and add them on top of the cheese.

4. Spread out the salsa and then sprinkle with remaining cheese.

5. Place the second quesadilla on top and move to the griddle, flipping once the first side is browned.

6. The quesadilla is ready once both sides have browned and the cheese is melted.

Before serving the quesadillas a quick math lesson on fractions can be inserted by discussing how to cut up the quesadilla into enough pieces for everyone in the group…and then enjoy!

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School Lunches – May 17

The month is now officially half over which means we are halfway through this month of school lunches.

Here is a quick look at breakfast today…

And now onto my thoughts now that we’ve officially reached the halfway point…

When this whole project started my initial thoughts were that I wanted to raise awareness for this problem that we are facing.  Our children, now more then ever, are overweight and unhealthy and the food they are being served in schools is not helping this problem.  And so after a little prompting from Jamie Oliver I decided to blog about it in an effort to raise awareness.

As the days passed, and I blogged about meal after meal that is not helping our chidren to be healthy I realized that more needed to be done.  But what?

And so an idea began to formulate.  I am still not completely sure what this looks like, but I am hoping to figure that out in the next couple of weeks and months.  What I do know is this…I am passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle.  For me that includes training for races with friends, eating healthy food (meaning unprocessed) and really being aware of the fact that I need to take care of my body.  I am also passionate about teaching.  Everyday I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.  So why not combine my passions and show my students what healthy living looks like and empower them to do the same in their lives.

But that’s not enough.  I only teach 80 students a year.

So what if other teachers began to do the same thing?  Teachers everywhere have a direct connection to the next generation.  Everday we have a captive (and yes some days they do feel as though they are being held captive!) audience.  So what if teachers everywhere begin to show their students what a healthy lifestyle looked like and empowered them and equipped them to live a healthy life?  Would this generation of kids become more active, eat more fruits and vegetables and take ownership of taking care of their bodies?

I’m not entirely sure what this looks like right now (and so I’m open to thoughts, comments and ideas) but what I do know is we need a change and teachers have the audience to help make that change.  But teachers can’t do it alone…we need partners to come in and provide fresh fruit for our students to taste test, share healthy ideas that we can pass along to our students, offer free health screenings…and really the list goes on and one (again, I’m open to thoughts, comments and ideas)

Embarking on this journey is big and scary, but what if it worked?  What if teachers everywhere could bring the message of healthy living to their students and those students began to lead healthy lives…that would mean amazing things for this generation of kids!