Healthy Food Choices
During this month of Thanksgiving and the tremendous bounty of food that we share at this time of year, the Science SPARKS volunteers wanted to let our Preschoolers know about healthy foods. In our grocery stores, there are so many nutritious and tasty fruits and veggies to choose from that it is easy to make healthy choices. The good folks at Harris Teeter donated all of the unique fruits that the Science volunteers shared with the children. They learned about all these new fruits:
- Pomegranates are bright red on the outside and filled with hundreds of tiny, juicy gems with a crunchy seed in each. Did you know you eat the seeds and not the skin or the pith of a pomegranate?!
- The Horned Melon is also called a pepino melon and although it is bright orange and prickly on the outside, it is vibrant green and juicy on the inside. It kind of looked like a lime with tightly packed juice pods and flat, cucumber-like seeds.
- A Dragon Fruit, or pitaya, is from Mexico and Central/ South America. It’s skin is shocking pink with triangular green-tipped leaves decorating the entire fruit. Inside it’s fruit is white and creamy and it is flecked with tiny black seeds. It tastes sort of like a strawberry!
- Coconuts and Kiwis are far more common and the preschool children had all heard of each, at least. They were impressed by the inside of a coconut and that there was milk inside! The fuzzy skins of both the coconut and kiwi were tempting to touch!
- Gooseberries were small orange-colored fruits wrapped in a natural paper shell. They grow on bushes and the fruit looks like a cherry or a grape. It is eaten like a grape. The British are very fond of gooseberries and have many delicious recipies in which gooseberries are the main ingredient.
After seeing all the exotic and alien looking fruits, the children shared with us which foods they thought were healthy or unhealthy. To reinforce the concept, we broke into two groups to play games. One group sorted pictures of food into food groups and the other group played ‘I spy’ with a huge bag of plastic food items.
Now, when you take your preschooler shopping with you, he or she will be able to help you make healthy choices in the grocery market!
What is Science SPARKS?
Science SPARKS is our Preschool math and science enrichment program aimed at introducing the basic fundamentals of both disciplines in a fun and engaging way. This parent-initiated and parent-led program has been a part of St. Francis of Assisi Preschool since 2009 and was modeled after a similar program at a neighboring preschool. Topics are chosen by committee and interested parents take the lead to write the curriculum for each topic. Materials are provided by the parents and the parents are the lead scientists once the children enter the classroom. This is a great way for parents who have a back ground in sciences or math to share their passion with eager little learners.
We are proud to announce that our program has been recognized by the Diocese of Raleigh and will be showcased at the Catholic Schools’ Conference on October 14, 2011. This is a wonderful opportunity to share with all the preschools in the Diocese the success of this highly effective and engaging program!
This month, the children were introduced to the Scientific Method and its importance in understanding the world around us. Stations were set up to allow the children to experiment with their 5 senses.
- They listened to the rattling inside similar boxes. Were those 2 sounds similar or different? Was one higher and one lower?
- They looked through different objects to see how their sight was enhanced or impeded. How does the world look through one end of the binoculars? What about when seen through the other end? When looking through a colored lens, how does that make the world appear? What if two were stacked on top of one another before looking through them?
- They smelled various scents hidden in cups. Can smelling help determine what is in the cup? Is the smell a pleasing one?
- They touched several different articles and learned words to describe each. Which one was scratchy? Which one was smooth?
- They tasted kid-friendly foods. Which one tasted salty? Did one taste sweet?
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