Healthy Snacking Lesson

Today was a really fun and chaotic day. This morning Emily and I taught our “Healthy Snacking” lesson to around fifteen 4th graders from The Shack Neighborhood House.  The lesson was taught in the WVU test kitchen (pictured below).  The kids sat in chairs in front of the demonstration table.  The demo table was a great way to teach the kids how to cook because it had an overhead mirror that was angled toward the audience (almost like we had our own cooking show!).  We started off the lesson by introducing ourselves and introducing the lesson as healthy snacks.

The WVU test kitchen has several “mini kitchens”, ovens, stoves, sinks, and cooking equipment.

The “students” sat in chairs in front of the demonstration table.

We first explained the MyPlate image and taught them that half of their plate should contain fruits and vegetables.  We then went through all the food groups of the MyPlate (fruits, veggies, grains, protein, and dairy) and asked if they could think of healthy snacks that belonged in each category.  The next thing we did was write the acronym S.N.A.C.K.S. on the chalkboard to remind them what healthy snacking means.

Smaller portions

Not in front of the TV (the kids were appalled by this!)
Am I really hungry?

Choose low-fat foods from the MyPlate

Kitchen is a good place to eat

Sit down, slow down, savor, and enjoy!

Emily and I teaching the kids about healthy snacks.

The next thing we did was begin to make the delicious salsa (recipe found here).  We showed them the different ingredients and asked if they knew what each of them were.  We asked for a few responsible volunteers to come to the demo table and help us chop up the tomatoes and green peppers.  We had to teach them the appropriate way to hold a knife and the proper way to chop the vegetables.  When all the ingredients were added to the salsa, it looked and tasted absolutely delicious.

I am showing a volunteer how to chop a tomato!


The yummy salsa the kids helped to make!

The next thing we did was teach the kids how to make their own chips out of whole grain tortillas.  All the kids had to first wash their hands.  Then they each had the chance to cut their own tortilla into chips, place them on baking sheets, spray cooking spray, and add salt, pepper, and chili powder.


Everyone got to cut their own whole-grain tortilla into chips.


While the tortilla chips were cooking in the oven, we organized the kids to play a “Guess that fruit or vegetable game”.  We split them into three teams and explained the rules of the game.  We placed 12 large brown bags throughout the room with a flap in the back of the bag.  The kids were unable to look in the bag, but had to take turns putting their hand in the bag and feeling the fruit or veggie.  They had to try to guess the most fruit/veggies correctly strictly by feeling them.  The kids had a lot of fun playing this game.  Some of the food items they guessed fairly sily, but some items really tricked them (like turnips, parsnips, and zucchini).

Finally the last part of the lesson was for the kids to each make their own fruit and cheese skewers.  Everyone got their own skewer and we encouraged them to choose fruits that were very colorful.  They could choose from apples, bananas, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, and cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  I think this was probably the kids favorite part of the lesson because they got to eat their fruits and veggies right away, and some kids even went for seconds!

The kids had alot of fun making their fruit skewers!

Eating their fruit skewers, chips, and salsa.

Everyone got to take home some salsa to have their families try.

Overall the nutrition lesson went really well! It was a little chaotic controlling all the kids and some of the chips got a little burnt, but I think everyone had fun and learned a lot.  And don’t forget they got to take home a “Healthy Snacking” brochure .


“Healthy Snacking” Brochure

I continued to work on the “Healthy Snacking” lesson that Emily and I will be teaching next week to about twenty 3rd and 4th graders from The Shack.  My main focus for the day was creating a handout or pamphlet for the children to take home and share with their parents.  The information I included in the handout is the recipes for the salsa and tortilla chips that the kids will be learning how to make during the lesson, healthy vs non-healthy snacking ideas, the benefits of choosing whole grain products, and the acronym for S.N.A.C.K.S.

S.N.A.C.K.S. stands for:

Smaller portions

Not in front of the TV

Am I really hungry?

Choose low-fat foods from MyPlate for snacks

Kitchen is a good place to eat

Sit down, slow down, savor, and enjoy!

Check out my “Healthy Snacking” Brochure . Let me know what you think!