During the pandemic, our family has been ordering a produce box every ten days or so from a local farm. Each box has been stuffed to overflowing with at least three times the produce that the same money would buy at the grocery store or farmers market. The quality has been top-notch and the variety has been impressive. We've been planning our meals around whatever shows up in the box and it has been a fun challenge.
When I unpacked our latest box, I found a bunch of okra. Steve claimed it to make gumbo, but seeing raw okra brought me right back to my 5th grade classroom... specifically, the annual nutrition unit. As part of the unit, each student chose a different vegetable to study (ideally, one that they didn't know well). They'd research the nutritional content and learn what its various vitamins and minerals contributed to human health. The kids designed attention-grabbing packaging for their vegetables, which went up on the bulletin board. It was hilarious overhearing them one-upping each other's vegetables while they worked ("Well, you might be a good source of iron, but I am high in fiber, low in sodium, AND have over 100% of the RDA for vitamin A!")
On a designated day, each person would bring in their vegetable (raw, or cooked with no other ingredients if it couldn't be eaten raw) and we'd have a taste test. EVERY year, EVERY student discovered at least one vegetable they liked that they'd never had before. It was awesome seeing a classroom of kids so excited to be trying and loving 33 types of vegetables. I absolutely loved the messages that came from shocked parents telling me all the vegetables their 10 year olds had put on the grocery list!
I went to the file cabinet and dug out my nutrition teaching materials in hopes of finding samples of the student advertisements. Success! This is my sample. It makes you want to rush out and buy kale, right?
Catherine's Squash-in-a-Box is adorable. The corners say "Fat Free! NEW! Really good! Healthy too!"
This is Aldren's celery. "2 GOOD 2 PASS!"
I love Anela's box of turnips. Turnips are so low fat that they actually have no fat!
As always, I wish I had taken photos of the rest of the student work. All my samples are boxes, but I remember cans and bottles and cartons. Kids are so creative. And, even picky kids learn that they like new vegetables when you give them the chance to try them.