Monday, November 9, 2009

character

I spent this morning teaching the intricacies of the Food Guide Pyramid to middle schoolers in the St. Louis public school system. Definitely challenging to say the least. After 4 summers as a camp counselor, I’ve learned how to interact with all sorts of kids, but it’s still hard to teach a lesson while competing with 25 chatty 8th graders. I think these kinds of experiences just serve to build character, kinda like this apple…

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We actually served these to the kids today, and most labeled them as moldy or rotten-looking, but the apples are actually really good…the taste is almost reminiscent of a pear. I think hard situations may seem ugly at surface value, but if you look deeper, you can always find good. I know that we did make an impact on some of the kids who heard our lessons today, and if even one decides to take steps toward better nutrition, I feel like I’ve done something.

On that note, let’s chat about kale. I refused to eat this green for the longest time because it’s pretty bitter in the raw form [unless you make it into a green monster]. Nutritionally, it’s pretty awesome, and with the swine making its way around, I know we could all use some extra vitamin C.

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Unfortunately, cooking kale causes it to lose many of its nutritional benefits, but the good news is that it still remains a good source of many vitamins and minerals, even after boiling. I’m not sure how many nutrients are left after the sauté, boil, and bake process I put the poor kale through to make these bagels.

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The verdict: I was sad they didn’t taste more like kale, which is weird, I know. I think they needed more garlic + salt [gasp], to avoid masquerading as regular old whole wheat bagels. I like knowing exactly what goes into the food I’m eating, though, so modifying the recipe and trying again is worth it to me.

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I have to admit that bagel-making is pretty fun [although a bit labor intensive]. I hadn’t made bagels since my food science class during my sophomore year of college…and who knows how those turned out with all our shenanigans in the foods lab.

As for preventing the swine: In addition to normal hand sanitation guidelines and increasing vitamin C intake, I would also add the importance of adequate sleep, hydration, and practicing overall good nutrition habits to the mix. And maybe throwing back a shot of wheat grass or two.

Stay healthy, everyone!

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27 comments:

  1. Oh yes, those middle school kids are a handful and they are right at that age and not quite mature. Kale bagels?! I've never made bagels before and I have to admit I don't cook that much with kale either unless I cook it down forever in some kind of soup. I'm trying not to get sick, I think sleep is the biggest factor for me and lots of sanitizing especially being around those kid germ factories :)

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  2. wow kale bagels?! so impressed you did that!

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  3. Interesting idea on the bagels.

    Yes, I have been subbing recently and it is sometimes exhausting just talking to them. I was upset yesterday when I looked at a 3-4 grade health book. They had some slightly incorrect info and even though published in 2006 still uses the old food guide pyramid. The authors knew the change was coming since they wrote that this pyramid may change as new information becomes available. It had a graph for them to read and they were asked to determine which snack was unhealthy based on teaspoons of sugar in the food. The most was in a sugar cereal, but I was appaled that they even included fruit and yogurt as the next highest in sugar (although it is due to lactose and fructose, it implied this was unhealthy), and showed the "healthiest" low in sugar snack was angel food cake. Also, I know the kids are small, but heck teach em when they are young!...there were no portion sizes on the chart, implying when I read over it that a whole angel food cake was healthier than fruit and yogurt!

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  4. Kale bagels?! Do you have a recipe? I am NOT a fan of kale (I find it really tough, even after cooking) but vegetables in bagels is genuis...hmmm... I want to make carrot raisin bagels now!

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  5. Kale in bagels? That's a great idea. I was just talking to Erik the other day about how I feel like making bagels. I agree, they're quite fun to make but agreed, labor intensive! Maybe I'll make some next weekend :D

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  6. i bet teaching to kids is hard, I taught to undergrad students and it was hard too! but it's good to acquire patience and good mood! :)
    bagel with kale? wooo.... I'd love to try that! I heard baking bagel is hard, I need to try to make it at least once in my life!

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  7. Hey Emily!

    what a great idea to give those children that gross looking apple. It protrays the idea that many kids assume fruits and veggies are bad tasting, because our society makes them out to be, but in reality they taste really good (if prepared correctly). Hopefully now those children will be more likely to taste other fruits and veggies. Nice.

    As for the sodium, it decreases my bloating, not the gas. I could increase my potassium, but I already know I get plenty of it, for sure. I mean, I consume at least 6 fruits and veggies a day, plus yogurt and a multi, but you're right, it's good to mention that!

    Have a great week.

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  9. May I ask what nutritional benefits of kale are lost when cooking it? I know if you cooked it by boiling it in water it would lose some water-soluble vitamins, but if you are cooking it in a bagel, I don't see how you could lose any nutrition. Most carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals are heat-stable.

    Thanks!

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  10. Welcome to my world of middle-schoolers! At least nutrition is interesting instead of Math :) I love 'em though! Great point about not judging something by its outer appearance!

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  11. Salt [gasp], pretty funny! I feel like you set your self up for this one. I want to guest post about salt. Then we can battle. I can taste the bagel with some carrot and chive cream cheese. yumsters!

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  12. YOU MADE BAGELS! AND KALE BAGELS! you're a genius and should open up a kale bagel shop in nyc haha

    i'm actually writing a paper for one of my classes which involves writing a proposal and part of it is I think they should have nutrition courses in high school that are required to take and registered dieticians with teaching certs should teach them :)

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  13. Nice job with the kale bagels, even if they didn't turn out exactly as you had hoped!

    I'm trying my best to prevent getting the swine flu...being around kids all the time doesn't help matters, so I'm trying to get lots of sleep every night and eats lots of nutrient-dense foods.

    Hope you're having an awesome week!

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  14. Lol I do not think I could eat that bagel! Haha.

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  15. Wow, what a great recipe! I haven't deigned to bake any bread products since my never-ending soft pretzel baking process a few years ago. This recipe my end my hiatus though!

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  16. That's awesome that you made bagels! I'll admit, I thought kale bagels sounded a little funky, but they look quite tasty! I'm happy to be a taste tester for your subsequent batches. :)

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  17. wow bagel queen! i wanna try to make my own bagels sometimeeeeeeeee :) yours look TASTY!

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  18. kale bagels?! they look soo good and so pretty too! I want to try makin my own but sadly I am not the best baker in the world! I can cook anything, but baking...needs some work to say the least!

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  19. I love bagels and needed to find healthier options, I am excited to try these! I've made my home-made whole grain bagels which were quite delicious.

    For some of my favorite hwole grain recipes, visit: http://www.shar-on-nutrition.com/?p=362

    Feel free to leave a comment! :)

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  20. Big props for the bagel baking bonanza. I have never attempted that myself, as much as I enjoy the bagel (especially the regular old whole wheat variety), only because I've heard it's a lot of work...

    But can you imagine a spinach bagel and the possibilities there? Spinach and asiago? Spinach and artichoke? Spinach and feta? Oy...

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  21. Wow, kale bagels! This sounds amazing! And yes, fruits' looks can often be deceiving, especially when its organic and they avoid the yucky waxing that nonorganic produce goes through.

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  22. KALE bagels?!! Ohh lala! That was genius. Too bad they don't really taste too much like kale, but I would say some people would say that's a good thing! Lol...maybe you need some other ingredient to coax the flavors out...like some kind of cheese? ;-)

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  23. kale bagels look like poop. no offense.

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  24. That's so awesome that you made bagels! Trying to teach kids can be rough. I once was a camp counselor at a camp for teenagers -- oh, the stories I could tell . . .

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  25. Your bagel looks amazing!! I'm so inspired to try to make some!

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  26. You are so creative! Kale bagels...I never woul have thought.

    Love the lesson in this post...you are so true. NEVER take anything (or anyone) at face value.

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  27. woah that is so cool that you had a kale bagel!! never heard of that before!! kind of makes me sad that cooking kale makes it loose some nutrition :[

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