Teaching Nutrition from mouth to… other end

A very dear friend of mine… A very dear – diet soda drinkin’, junk food eatin’ – friend of mine, is quite sure that the reason I became a nurse is so that I could advise people about their diet.  Heck, it’s part of my job as they go out the door to make sure they follow the doctor’s diet orders… which are usually lacking.  Hence, I tack on my own 2 or 25 cents – whichever I can get away with.  So the opportunity to have a booth at a festival where we could present nutritional info to kids and parents along with some of our kids health songs was too great to pass up!

We practiced our songs and joined the fun at The Blackberry Jam – a music fest that takes place on a blackberry farm here in middle TN.  Here’s what we did….

Whoops – we forgot a sign and came up with one double quick!

We had several activities including a marble run to represent the digestive system.  Pick a marble and find that marble color on a chart which told you what nutrient that color represents, what it does for you and what foods contain that nutrient.  Drop the marble into the mouth of the marble run and watch it run it’s way through the twists, turns, wheels and vortices of the digestive system.

Let her rip!

The marble would then be extracted from the run at an opportune moment to signify that it was absorbed by the body.  The only marbles allowed to pass all the way through were the brown ones (actually large brown glass beads as I didn’t have any brown marbles) which represented fiber.  They were allowed to pass all the way through from mouth to toilet or potty depending on the age of the participant :-)

We also had a couple of inflatable skeletons which could be taken apart and put back together….

I also like lots of exercise. It makes me stronger.

As far as exercise goes, my son decided to run an ‘Exercise Station.’  He gave the child a choice between crunches, jumping jacks or push ups.  Then the child picked a number from a hat (my son wanted the numbers to go from 1 – 25, but I thought 1 – 15 to be enough for the little folks) and he would do that exercise with the child that many times.  This was a very big hit, and in fact a little girl who stated that she didn’t know how to do those exercises was later seen doing crunches somewhere else at the festival :-)

And down and up and down and up…… Yes Sir!

One of our children’s health songs – we did bring our guitars as well :-) – is about exercise and is called Built For Motion.  The link will take you to a free download of the song.

We provided a puzzle of the digestive system for those not turned off by the little brown marbles…

Really? All that stuff is inside of me?

My favorite part was the ‘Soda is Evil’ notebook (I didn’t call it that – no name – just an interesting array of see through pages to turn with facts about soda) – each page turn reducing the color in the glass until you are left with a glass of water.  One of the songs we sing is called “Water is Oh So H2O” about the wonders of water.

Read me if you dare…

And 2 colored page turns later….

And 2 colored page turns later….

Water is Oh So H-2-O

We offered a posterboard where kids could record their favorite fruits and vegetables… Here it is early in the festival…

If you’d like to hear our song called Real Food – it is a free download here:

And finally, to keep the little boogers busy, we had 2 building stations.  Lincoln Logs represented REAL FOOD – which is nutrient dense and builds strong bodies and immune systems.  The other station was FAKE FOOD and had styrofoam blocks which built much wobblier structures that didn’t last as long.

She even chose the right building material!!

We had a lot of fun and hope that a few kids and parents came away with a determination to eat FOOD – REAL FOOD.

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14 responses

  1. Wow this looks like a great way for kids to learn about what is good to eat. I get really excited about this. If they start young eating the right things, it will change the course of their lives. Bravo!!

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