“It’s OK to have a cookie every once in awhile,” I confess, digressing from today’s lesson plan. I’m not going to lie to these kids. If kids believe you’re feeding them a line, you’ve lost them.
“The rest of the time,” I say, turning the conversation and back on track. “It’s important to eat healthy.”
I join two other members of the Sycamore Wellness Committee to teach all second graders about whole grains. The committee will visit each grade and share an age-appropriate lesson that kids will hopefully digest.
“Today, we’re going to conduct a science experiment,” I start. “Put out your hands like a scale.” The kids stick their hands out palms up. I place a loaf of white in one and a loaf of wheat in another.
“What do you notice?” I ask.
“One’s way heavier,” a child says.
“That’s because of all the whole grain,” another says.
We pass the loaves until each child feels the weight and density of each loaf. They feel the crusts. Touch and prod.
“Now,” I say Vanna White-ing a piece of white and wheat bread. “Using your eyes, what can you tell me?”
“One is white?”
“I can see the seeds in this one.”
“Whole grain,” another cuts in. We talk about the three parts of the grain and how eating all parts is better for your body than eating foods made with refined grains, flour with natural nutrients removed and enhanced with added vitamins.
“Final exam!” I say. “Close your eyes.”
The kids squint their eyes shut and put out their hands. “I want you to show me that you can make healthy choices with your eyes closed.”
“This one,” a kid says confidently after touching each piece.
Choosing healthy is that easy.