Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We Love the Company

Elementary and middle schools students at Baltimore's Baybrook Middle School in Child First Authority's After-School Program read "We Love the Company".  This is part of the University of Maryland Extension (UME)'s  Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE) "Read for Health" curriculum.

In this book we learned about the importance of eating together and the value of having good manners.  While reading the book we all joined in whenever we had a line stating "We Love the Company".  We practiced placing napkins in our lap and not fidgeting in our chair, the latter is really hard.  But, "we (do) love company" and shared with each other our favorite persons to visit -- our family.  After our teacher read the book once, we listened to the book's song and recording that included another reading of the book.  We wiggled to the rhythm of the song.

The book focuses on the importance of eating meals with your friends and family.  Studies have shown that families that eat together typically have a healthier diet by eating more fruits and vegetables, at lower risk for overweight/obesity, have children who do better in school, develop self-esteem/social skills and are less likely to use drugs and alcohol.

After we read our book we made homemade coleslaw.  Several of our older children looked at the fresh minced cabbage and commented "nasty".  But then we set to work with our older members cutting carrots and apples into very small pieces to add to our pre-shredded cabbage along with golden yellow raisins.  When we added a little coleslaw dressing it was very good with most of the older children and several of our younger children requesting smaller second servings.  We decided if we made this recipe again at our homes -- we might add small tomatoes, grapes, or brown raisins.  We also practiced our thank you(s) and helped our teacher with clean up -- as we had gotten a few carrots on the floor when cutting.

Posted on behalf of Phyllis McShane

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