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ʻĀINA In Schools Grade 2 Nutrition Education Unit Blog

November 30, 2020
By: ʻĀINA Team

Students are introduced to the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Curriculum in Grade 2. This year-long unit utilizes 8 lessons to introduce students to key concepts of close to the source foods, the ʻĀINA Food Guide, Protective Foods, Energy Goods, Body-Building Foods, Brain Foods, and Caution Foods. These fun and hands-on lessons encourage students to think about the food they consume in terms of physical health and the health of the planet. They also utilize simple, healthy, and delicious recipes that can be made in the classroom or at home.

Follow along with this unit by downloading the Grade 2 Nutrition Curriculum and Grade 2 Nutrition Student Workbook that includes the pre- and post-unit survey, take home letters that include snack recipes, student worksheets, and lesson summaries. Watch the ʻĀINA Nutrition Curriculum Training Webinar (link coming soon) for tips and resources to support you in teaching this lesson.

Downloads and Links:

Relevant ‘ĀINA Videos:

Lesson 1 - ʻĀINA IS...A Foundation For Good Health

In this introductory lesson, students are introduced to the key concepts that will be incorporated throughout the entire unit. Using food samples, they define the concept of “close to the source” foods in relation to a variety of processed foods. They are also introduced to the ʻĀINA Food Guide and it’s five categories: Protective Foods, Energy Goods, Body-Building Foods, Brain Foods, and Caution Foods. This lesson ends with a fun, delicious, and localized snack: Poi Smoothie! Check out this overview of the ʻĀINA Food Guide in the ‘ĀINA Food Guide Video and our video on how to make the ʻĀINA Close to the Source Snack: Poi Smoothie. You can find a student worksheet on page 4 of the Grade 2 Student Workbook for student review of the lesson’s key concepts.

Lesson 2 - Protective Plant Parts

This lesson focuses on the Protective Foods from the ʻĀINA Food Guide. Students explore close to the source fruits and vegetables and their protective benefits! They play a plant part guessing game where they organize themselves into edible plant part groups: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Protective Foods are fruits and vegetables that are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. They protect us from getting sick! This lesson ends with a snack full of protective foods: Bird’s Nest Salad. Share the Bird's Nest Salad video so students can watch how all the edible plant parts are assembled for a delicious snack. You may have students complete the student worksheets on pages 7, 8, and the family activity on page 10 in the Grade 2 Student Workbook.

Lesson 3 - Whole Grain Investigators

In this lesson students explore the Energy Food Category from the ʻĀINA Food Guide and discover the benefits of eating whole grains. Using different whole grains, students need to match their processed pairs with the unprocessed versions. Students also discuss the three parts of a whole grain: bran, endosperm, and germ. The goal of this lesson is to explain why unprocessed whole grains are much healthier than their processed counterparts. This lesson ends with a snack of hummus on a whole-grain cracker. Students can watch the Whole Grain Crackers & Hummus Snack video and complete the student worksheets on pages 11-14 in the Grade 2 Nutrition Student Workbook.

Lesson 4 - Food Choices for Your Environment

In this fourth lesson, students further define the concept of close to the source foods and extend the definition to include locally grown foods. Students discuss the ahupuaʻa system as an example of a sustainable food system and explore and compare various modern day food systems by mapping the journey of two bananas. Students evaluate food miles, environmental and nutritional impacts of imported versus locally grown foods and discuss the benefits of eating close to the source foods grown in Hawaiʻi. This lesson ends with a taste test of an imported banana versus a locally grown banana. Students can check their understanding by completing the worksheet on page 15 in the Grade 2 Student Workbook.

Lesson 5 - Food To Grow On

This lesson focuses on the Body-Building Food Category. Students explore body-building foods that contain protein and calcium and how these foods are important in proper growth and development. They sort close to the source body-building foods in a “Human Venn Diagram” activity. The snack for this lesson is Body-Building Salsa which is made with locally grown, close to the source ingredients. To learn more about this food category, watch the Body-Building Salsa video and complete the student worksheet on page 19 in the Grade 2 Student Workbook.

Lesson 6 - Food For Thought

In this lesson students focus on the Brain Food Category and discuss the importance of eating high quality fats. Students identify and sort different kinds of foods containing fats into high and low quality fats as fats that come from plants and fish. The close to the source snack for this lesson is Brainy Guacamole with Cucumber "Chips" and highlights avocado as a healthy fat in this snack. Check out the Brainy Guacamole Recipe on page 22 of the Grade 2 Student Workbook.

Lesson 7 - Label Detectives

This lesson focuses on the Caution Food category of the ʻĀINA Food Guide. Students explore caution foods in more depth and explore strategies to evaluate food labels, empowering them to make informed food choices. Students identify red flag ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, added salt, added sugars, and artificial colors and flavors that can have a negative effect on health. Students then take time to read and explore two similar food or beverage labels in order to determine which one is closer to the source. The snack for this unit is a Make-Your-Own Trail Mix, which allows students to customize their trail mix by adding a variety of close to the source ingredients. To learn how to make your own trail mix with close to the source ingredients watch the ʻĀINA Close to the Source Make-Your-Own Trail Mix video. The student worksheet on page 23 of the Grade 2 Student Workbook offers a chance to check for understanding of the lesson key concepts.

Lesson 8 - ʻĀINA Year in Review

This final lesson encourages students to review and discuss the key concepts they learned throughout the unit. By creating posters, students present their information to the rest of the class. The snack for this final lesson is the Poi Smoothie, which combines ingredients from all of the food categories from the ʻĀINA Food Guide. Review the ʻĀINA Close to the Source Poi Smoothie snack video to wrap up the Nutrition Lessons. In the Grade 2 Student Workbook have students complete the final student worksheets on pages 25 and 27, and join the ‘ĀINA Recipe Challenge by inventing their own delicious simple snack inspired by the ʻĀINA lessons. Remember to keep it close to the source!

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