You Are What You Eat

The nutrition project is an integral part of Castelli International’s Earth to Table project. We have been learning through hands on experience where our food comes from. The Earth, the act of planting, nurturing and harvesting food, growing tasty, healthy food in the children’s vegetable garden, their soil,  their hard work. Now we turn our attention to the table.

We eat to give us energy and to help our bodies grow. So it stands to reason that what we eat, ends up being part of us:  our muscles, our bones, our skin even our hair. Our bodies need to be given food that contains important substances, substances that can be broken down in our digestive system and in fascinating process they are then turned into the building blocks of  everything our body is made from.  What the body doesn’t need, it gets rid of as waste.

We’re learning which foods contain the most useful substances that are good for our bodies when they become part of us, and which foods contain other things that when they become part of us, do us harm.

Fats, sugars, proteins and vitamins and carbohydrates are all part of the story and we looked for food that contained these. We looked closely at why fruit and vegetables are so important for our growing bodies and thought about the Earth to Table project, where the students get involved growing and harvesting their own fruit and vegetables during the year.

Children discover animal and plant proteins

It is important that children learn about healthy eating patterns at an early age so that they can protect their health through diet as they grow older[/blockquote]

Antonia Demas, Ph.D

The Nutrition Project is also hands on.

If students are going to understand nutrition in such a way that it effects their food choices now, and in the future, it is important that, like Earth to Table, the experience is hands on. Then students need to touch and connect the foods, with the concepts.

These food pyramids were made by the children of classes one and two. They looked through magazines and publicity to find photographs of different types of foods that gave our bodies different types of nutrients.

These are the foods at the base of the Pyramid that will help them stay healthy if they include them in every meal.

Students learned that Proteins can come from both animal and plant sources, they discovered that the pink and white colored pods brought to class contained beans, and divided the animal and vegetable protein accordingly onto the poster.

After having introduced the students to lentils and their nutritional properties: high in protein, iron, fiber, vitamins and very low in fat, the students had lentil and eggplant burgers for lunch…. and quite enjoyed them too.

Castelli International's hands on approach to understanding nutrition
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