Thursday, May 23, 2013

sugar sugar sugar CRASH!

In the crazy, chaotic world of 2nd grade we started talking about nutrition and health this week.  Specifically, my goal is to get these kids AWARE of the sugar they eat every day.  They can all rattle off the five food groups and name over thirty types of fruits and vegetables.  That, however, does not necessarily encourage kids to eat them.  I'm not sure if my approach will, either, but my theory is that knowledge is power.

Using this theory, we learned how to read seed packets for information in the Seed/Plant unit we finished last week.  This week I'm teaching the little nippers how to read nutrition labels (among many other things).  None of the had ever read one before, no shock, but this totally falls under "reading for information" in the most useful and everyday sense of the word.  We learned what is on a label and why they all use the same format.  Then I turned their attention to some empty packages I'd collected in the past week.  Their eyes bugged out as they studied the labels on various and common beverages.  At lunch they talked about how much sugar was in a Tru Moo chocolate milk.  They didn't know the large bottle of Gatorade sold at the ballpark is really supposed to be 2.5 servings, and they were astonished to find out a juice box has almost as much sugar in it as a pint of chocolate milk. 

We've done some number-crunching to learn there is a about 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon.  Today I'm making this entire exercise visual as I fill ziplock baggies with sugar and weigh it on a metric scale.  They will SEE how much sugar they drink...and eat, since their homework is to bring in the package from a favorite food today.

This might be effective...last night Mr. G was busily digging in our pantry reading labels.  He was happy to learn some foods he loves have almost no sugar.  He was annoyed with others.

I'll keep you posted, reader. 

17 comments:

  1. This sounds like an excellent lesson. Second grade is a great time for the kids to start learning about this. And it was great for me to read this just before I head out to the grocery store.

    What I've learned from Weight Watchers is that the very best foods (nutrition-wise and taste-wise) don't come in a package with a nutrition label. Fresh raspberries! Apples! Broccoli! Brussels sprouts!

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  2. This is such a good lesson when their minds are like little sponges. I found the serving sizes on labels shocking when I had to start reading them more closely. I bet they went home and told their parents a thing or two :-)

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  3. This will most definitely be something the kids talk about at home. There's nothing like a good visual to get an idea to worm its way into a little brain.

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  4. Excellent approach if you ask me. At Lola's school they have the Movin' and Munchin' program to get kids, and their parents, to eat healthier but I like yours better. Visuals always work.

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  5. I love it when skills are combined with information the kids really need!

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  6. Perfect.

    I suspect most adults could benefit from your class as well!

    Pearl

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  7. What a great idea! Applying to what the kids eat, and giving them a visual as to the actual sugar in baggies. Wow! What a special effect!

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  8. There are going to be some students teaching their parents tonight!

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  9. Also, "sugar sugar sugar CRASH!" is exactly what happens when I consume more than a wee bit of that stuff.

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  10. My two oldest boys have been doing the same thing lately. I have always been very opposed to chocolate milk and soda in our house (and many other "treats" they used to beg me for- "fruit" snacks, certain granola bars, and sugar filled yogurts) and recently they learned even more about nutrition at school. Then a rep from some dairyland farm came and told the kids at school that chocolate milk was healthy for them and my two boys argued with her. They told her that there was more sugar in choc milk than in most sodas. They said she didn't know that. HA! I told them that she was just trying to sell her product, which got us into a whole other conversation. ;)

    I think you've got GREAT ideas for the class. It is so important for Americans to learn this stuff, and the younger the better! Well done!

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  11. It's great they will learn this at such a young age. My kids don't drink juice and chocolate milk is a very rare special treat. I should teach them why :-)

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  12. I did this with my Girl Scouts a few years back. They were horrified to discover a certain brand of granola bars labeled as 'organic' had more sugar than the non-organic brand.

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  13. I came across a website called Sugar Stacks that demonstrates with sugar cubes. Holy cow!

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  14. I just ate a chocolate bar...MWHA-Ha-ha...so evilly good

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  15. So many foods which are low in fat are high in sugar..........so sometimes it is better to not go low fat and just have the normal version......it would be great if we could get children to eat the nice healthy foods we would like them to eat.

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  16. LOVE this! You're my new hero. I wish every teacher did this.

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Spill it, reader.