For an easy ego boost, try offering kiwi slices to a classroom full of fifth and sixth graders. I was rewarded with a standing ovation! This week I had fun teaching a few nutrition classes at my kid’s school.
After explaining that your body needs 40 nutrients every single day to grow and be healthy and that the way to do this is by eating according to the Food Guide Pyramid, we tasted several “new” foods. Here are a few of the highlights:
• Every single kindergartener tasted and LIKED grapefruit. The trick was to tell them it’s a tricky fruit because it’s yellow on the outside and “super pink” on the inside. I also sliced it into wedges so the kids first tasted sweet/sour juice instead of pith.
• My kid – daughter of a dietitian – knew the answer to every single nutrition question.
• The fifth and sixth graders were presented with a tray of fruits and veggies and asked to identify the following for extra credit: Persimmon, fennel, guava, kiwi, pomegranate, Bosc pear, star fruit, cactus paddles. One kid got eight of 10 correct.
• One sixth grader told me his mom de-prickers, slices, and fries cactus paddles for dinner. And she’s not Hispanic, she’s Irish.
• There was not a single kid in grade K, five or six who refused to taste the star fruit.
• The fifth graders kept trying to get me to okay soda: “What if you drink it alongside a glass of milk.” “Can you have pop just once a day?” “But if my mom sends it in my lunchbox, it must be ok.” Ugh, I can’t argue with that last comment: Moms – if you put it in their lunchbox, you’re giving it an inherent stamp of approval.
• But I did get the 10-year-olds to utter , “Oh gross!” when I held up a bag of Skittles…by simultaneously holding up a bag of 9 teaspoons of sugar – the amount in the Skittles.
In summary, it’s cool to wow kids with starfruit.