Category: Foods & Nutrition

Healthy & Positive T-Shirt Messages

What I love about this assignment is that it can be adapted to almost any topic that you want students to walk away with messages promoting positive thoughts, actions, and attitudes!  I initially created this to use when teaching about healthy dating relationships and after using it thought of umpteen other lessons that I could use it with. So let me give you some background and suggestions for implementing this and then let your students have at it as they develop their own original slogans, messages and images about whatever topic you assign.  This is also a great template to use when running a design contest or for club t-shirts or fundraisers!

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Family Dinner Matters

One tradition that my family practiced as I was growing up was eating family dinner together regularly! I have wonderful memories of that dinner table; the fun and laughter as well as difficult conversations that ensued between my sisters and parents. This important tradition continued while raising our own children!  How my husband and I will miss this daily routine as we rapidly approach the empty nest stage of our lives. Below you will find a lesson that promotes eating together as a family and the benefits along with a variety of engaging activities and projects that can be implemented in the FACS classroom. Hopefully, students will carry this concept to their home life so it  becomes a recurring practice and a potential tradition with both their present and future families!

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Fusion Cooking

Fusion Cooking was a term that I was not very familiar with. I had heard it referenced in an old Learning Zone Express video titled The History of American Cuisine several years ago, but that was the extent of it.  However, it was recently brought up again in an email conversation I was having with Minnesota FACS teacher, Coleen K. Guhl who has supplied the majority of fusion cooking resources below that she has shared with me and/or uses with her students when studying regional foods and cuisine. So, a big “thank you” to Coleen for helping me learn more about this unique blending of regional and global cuisines!

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One “Pot” Pourri Meals with Edible Flowers

Years ago, I took a class on edible flowers with my local extension office. Not only was it pleasing to the eye, but it was tastefully pleasant as well! Recently, I was reminded of edible flowers when meeting up with a former student and dear friend; Ashten Swartz. She shared with me that she developed recipes for GRIT magazine around the theme of edible flowers…you’ll find her recipes linked below! Anyway, one thing led to another, and we ended up getting together to experiment with edible flowers in one-pot meals. Ashten developed the below recipes and I must say they looked and tasted amazing! I plan to share these with my students in hopes that they utilize edible flowers in some of their recipes as they experiment in the kitchen.

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Design a Salad Bar: TableScape Project

Face it! There are just some food topics that are difficult to have a lab associated with them. Sometimes it’s because of the cost, the logistics, the equipment or the quantity/variety of foods you’d have to purchase in order to make the lab happen. When this happens, I try to do some kind of unique project in place of the lab. So, below you will see how I make the best of teaching about salad bars with a tablescape project in lieu of an actual foods lab. What are some unique assignments or projects you do in place of labs? Share in the comment section below.

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Collards & Sense: A Food Dollars Curriculum for High School Students

Kayla Pins, a Family &Consumer Science teacher from Iowa, who was featured HERE, has been busy creating Collards & Sense: A free curriculum for high school students that helps students make wise choices with their food dollars.  She has graciously given me permission to share this amazing 10 day curriculum that is full of meaningful, engaging and enriching lessons and activities!  It is designed to be taught by any teacher and in any class, Family and Consumer Sciences certified or not, and kitchen setup or not. Activities are hands-on but require very little prep or purchasing for the teacher.

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Food Truck Resources

Food Trucks have been quite popular for the last couple of years with no signs of this trend going by the wayside any time soon!  So if you’re like me and have always wanted to teach this, but didn’t have time to reinvent the wheel, look no further!  Below, you will find a plethora of resources for teaching this topic and project geared to every grade level.  It’s up to you to decide how far you want your students to go with it!

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Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables

Looking to incorporate the “farm to table” concept into the fruit and vegetable unit of her 9-12 Basic Foods class, Liz Odle, a teacher at North Platte High School, Nebraska did just that by creating the Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables project!  A colleague helped her iron out the details and the project was created to accommodate new standards as well as 90 minute periods.  This lesson is not only informative, but engaging, and when complete, creates a large periodic table display that is hung in the hall for all students to view!  See how she teaches this entire unit below.

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Stoplight Foods & Jenga Review Game

The stoplight is such a simple traffic device, but has a universal meaning to pedestrians and drivers in the world of transportation. You may also be familiar with this concept in the nutrition world as it was introduced a few years ago as “Go-Slow-Whoa” or “Stoplight Nutrition”. In order to reinforce healthy food choices, why not implement the universal meaning of the stoplight into an interactive Jenga game?  It’s a simple way to reinforce healthy food choices for all age groups.

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Teaching About Vegetables

After teaching this unit last year, I knew I had to update my vegetable lessons and activities, especially since we are a 1:1 school with iPads!  So, I’ve spent the better part of six months trying to figure out how to make this unit more engaging, both with and without technology! I am super pleased with the results, as are my students!  These lessons focus on students’ preexisting knowledge of vegetables, the consumption of vegetables (habits as well as reasons to consume), nutritional value and subgroups and vegetable classifications. Because knife skills are used in the lab options, be sure to cover that information prior to the lab(s)

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