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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Food Pyramid

First day of Summer School!

Wait...let me back up a bit. Our Health and Nutrition week began a little earlier than today. On Saturday, our family participated in the Live wElle 5k Event (Springville, Utah), which was both emotionally touching, and physically motivating. The charity behind the event celebrates the life, and mourns the loss, of an 18 month old baby girl, Elle, who was backed over in the driveway. The money raised from the race provides scholarships to college-bound students, and helps struggling families. I was brought to tears at the concluding speech of the event, and was grateful for my belief in a post-earth-life existance, where families are reunited once again.

I was also proud of my husband (who placed third in his age division) and my girls my both ran a 400 meter dash. My 7 year-old finished 5 year-old started off strong :) It was a great event, and I hope my kids will see exercise as a good way to set personal goals and stay strong and fit.

My fears are set aside - my kids are fully on-board with the idea of summer school. I think it had something to do with the mention of art projects, earning beads, and fun suprises.

We started off the morning with our first Daily Worksheet:

The worksheet took longer today (and probably will all week) then it should the rest of the summer. It took them nearly an hour, with lots of help, to get through the exercises. My nearly kindergartener had an especially hard time with understanding the concept of place value (hundreds, tens, ones), as she had never heard these terms before. But they enjoyed themselves, and felt very important at their school stations with fresh paper and lots of colorful markers and pens around them.

After the worksheets, it was time to feed our goats! We went outside, fed them bottles of milk, gave them scoops of grain, and cleaned the barn stall. By then it was time to go inside, but our most fiesty goat, Mocha, nestled under our trailer and it took several extra minutes to coax her back into the barn stall! Then we headed back inside.

We sat around the fireplace as I began to explain our first lesson - The Food Pyramid. First I showed them a copy of a food pyramid chart, explaining each segment of the triangle and what type of foods belong in it. On large posterboard (thank you Dollar Store), I drew a blank food pyramid, labeling only the segment headings. Then my children wrote in the number of recommended servings. I had a prepared folder of images I'd googled and printed out (bananas, broccoli, apples, bread, rice, fish, meat, chicken, cotton candy, get the idea). The kids took turns cutting them out and taping them on the right segment of our food pyramid poster.

We also wrote down everything we ate all day, on the left side of the poster, according to the food group it belonged to. I was amazed at how easy it was to get my kids to voluntarily eat vegetables at lunch (we usually do fruit) because they saw we hadn't had any vegetables yet that day.

For lunch we had whole wheat tortilla quesadillas, carrot sticks and grapes.

After lunch the girls did silent reading for 25 minutes while I read books to my little man and put him down for a nap.

When I came down, I drilled them on the food pyramid, and rewarded them with their very first bead of the summer:

They were thrilled with their prize, and quickly slipped them onto their necklace strings.

Next, we started our art project: sewing lunch bags. I was excited about doing this project, and maybe even finishing it in a just a couple hours...this did not happen. As it turns out, these directions made no sense to me. I cut out all the fabric, liner, and insulation (while my girls patiently watched and helped how they could). Then I read through the directions and became completely lost. I'm gonig to call my sewing queen neighbor later this week and see if she can help me make sense of it. Then I will post BETTER directions :)

Health and Nutrition Week is off to a great start!

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