Monday, June 22, 2015

Fruits and Vegetables: A Rainbow of Flavor

Each day of the Allentown Learning and Engagement Center's ongoing ecology-focused day camp, Eco Camp,  begins with a lesson about the science of food and how we can care for the ecology of our own bodies. On this day, the food science lesson focused on fruits and vegetables.

After a quick lesson, introducing the vitamins and other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, the tasting session began!

The fare was far from exotic, featuring sample-size pieces of navel orange, carrot, celery, green bell pepper, cucumber, blueberries, broccoli, and mango. Nevertheless, some students were not willing to try all of the fruits and vegetables.

We like to encourage our students to try new foods, even though they may be leery of them. Some kids start out with trepidation...

...only to find there was never any reason to fear! We like to acquaint our students with a diversity of fresh foods because in variety there is nutrition and health.

The food science lesson closed with a discussion about the best and most nutritious sources of fruits and vegetables. The kids learned to choose fresh or frozen produce over canned, when possible.

The final point introduced to idea of "eating the rainbow", a popular dietary guideline based on the color of produce and the related antioxidants and nutrients that different-colored foods can offer.
We kept it pretty simple, words like 'anthocyanin' and 'flavonoid' are a lot to explain in 30 minutes, but the image and link above (along with many, many other sources from the web) provide good information about which foods provide what nutrition.

Pictured: the Brashear Kids' favorite fast food
- John

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