The word of the week in our character development series is “Efficiency.” There are a variety of ways we can teach kids about efficiency. If you look under the character tab for this word on my blog, you’ll find a variety of activities that address this topic by talking about work ethic, recycling and problem solving. Today I decided to work on teaching efficiency with a lesson on nutrition. After talking about the definition of efficiency, I talked to the kids about how just as a car works most efficiently when it has gas, oil and all its parts are in order, our bodies work most efficiently when we put the proper things in it to help us grow big and strong. I have a VERY picky child. Not shocking. My husband and I were both picky too. I am trying to instill a healthy approach to food and body in a variety of ways like modeling, planting a garden, getting kids helping in the kitchen and direct teaching. Today was a fun direct teaching lesson that really shows how food helps different areas of our body develop and work efficiently for us.
I used two main resources to help me talk about what kinds of food are good for what parts of your body. There was an article at Fitness Friend Network and Health. Here’s another good one I just found at Woman’s Day. By the way, the links are hard to see on my site, but click on those words, and they will take you to the article. What is really cool about those second articles is that they show how different foods actually mimic visually the part they help. So cool. I really used the descriptions of how the food helps, even though some of it is over their head. Knowing that, I thought it would be really fun to draw a person and replace body parts with the food that helps the parts run most efficiently. So, we ended up with green bean hair, walnut brains, carrot eyes, water nose, grape heart, broccoli lungs, rhubarb & bok choy bones, sweet potato pancreas, yogurt intestines, olive ovaries, banana & fish muscles and blueberry skin. This was all represented visually on a life-size replication of the human body.
The first thing I did was trace around Kenzie. Yes, that’s “Super Guy” with a head lamp follow the work closely.
We used the computer a lot to give the kids visual reference to both the different kinds of food we were talking about and also the different body parts and where they are located. Google image search works great for this.
When applicable, I was able to show them food we had in the refrigerator or cupboard. See how the carrot helps the eye and actually looks like the eye. God is so cool.
I would sometimes draw an outline or a dot where the food item should be drawn. Here Kenzie is drawing in a bunch of grapes inside my heart outline.
The kids just kept working away as we talked about each part. I love that the blueberries outlined the body to represent the skin. This is a lesson in efficiency and understanding that word better, but it is also a lesson in how to treat the bodies that God gave us well.