We began our nutrition unit this week. We presented all six food groups: grain, meat and protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and fats, oils and sweets. The following facts were given about each group.
Grain: Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.
Meat and Protein: All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group.
Fruits: Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
Vegetables: Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.
Dairy: All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Most Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.
Fats, Oils, and Sweets: Solid fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, like butter and shortening. Solid fats come from many animal foods and can be made from vegetable oils. Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. And of course, sweets are food that are in high in sugar and that we can eat but should try to stay away from.
Work on the shelf to explore nutrition are sorting plastic foods into the six food groups, sorting fruits and vegetables, exploring grains from around the World, and two Healthy vs. Unhealthy extension worksheets. In addition, on Wednesday, the children cut vegetables (onion, leek, carrots, and celery) that I took home and made vegetable soup with meatballs, spices, and herbs. The two food groups missing were dairy and grain. The soup was served for snack on Thursday. Overall, the soup was a success! Some children had three servings!
Taking care of the classroom is a vital part of the Montessori environment. The children in Poplar Room take wonderful care of the classroom without prompting from a teacher. Floors are kept clean, shelves are dusted, and work is put back where it belongs. Sounds magical doesn’t it? While children are choosing work off the shelves that promotes keeping the classroom tidy, specific jobs to aid in classroom tidiness have been implemented as well. Jobs will change every week in order for every child to enjoy “responsibility.” The following jobs or “responsibilities” are:
- lights (turning off the lights during lunch and at the end of the day)
- recycling (taking the recycling to the large receptacle in the library)
- chairs (placing the chairs on top of the tables at the end of the day)
- rugs (making sure the rugs are rolled properly and ready for the next day)
- milk (retrieving milk for lunch)
- books (making sure the book corner is tidy at the end of the day)
- Gecky (giving him fresh water everyday)
- Water (emptying any work from the shelves that have water)
- Nametags (picking up nametags from lunch tables after everyone is seated)
Odds and Ends
- We want to thank the Eleanor and her family for their love and care of Gecky over Winter Break.
- Remember to schedule your observation before conferences. It is not mandatory, but highly recommended! It serves to be a conversation piece at conferences and is used as a tool to absorb more of the Montessori philosophy.
- Melissa has sent out the new volunteer schedule, please respond to her email, slots fill up quickly. We look forward to seeing you in the classroom and volunteering your time!
- Our policy for going outside is as follows: As long as the wind chill temperature is at or above 25 degrees, the children will go outside. This means that weather-appropriate clothing is mandatory. In order to stay in ratio, Melissa and I have to go outside and can’t remain behind with a child who is not appropriately dressed.
- Poplar Room has its own personal professional photographer, Shannan Stewart. Shannan is Paris’ mom and will be coming into the classroom 2x a month to photograph children at work. We welcome your expertise Shannan!