Whole wheat challenge with breakfast event

May 2, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Nutrition Focus: Whole Grains Challenges | Leave a comment
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Buckeye Elementary – Salem, OH, Submitted by school nurse Patty Baker, RN

January 2009  Whole Wheat Challenge:    Our school mascot, quaker bear, writes a weekly letter to the classes about whole wheat (what foods are whole wheat, how many servings for kids, etc.) We have a bulletin board and a display of whole wheat foods that our students brought in.  Quaker Bear has a bulletin board that shows him with his favorite whole wheat foods. 

Every Thursday, we will have lunch time activities.  Last week, we had placemats with a game (word search, connect the dots, etc.) related to whole wheat.  This week, we are reading a story about Whole Grain Heroes that involves physical activities.  We have ordered a movie theater popcorn machine with some of our grant money and will have popcorn day with educational activities and popcorn next week.  Our PTO will help us continue the popcorn, selling it twice a week at lunch as a treat.  The last Thursday is taste testing and voting on our favorite.  Our food service department is setting up a display of whole wheat foods that they serve in our cafeteria.  We also are putting pictures of whole wheat foods and the number 5 (for number of servings they should eat of grains) all over the school.

Our big event is our Whole Wheat celebration breakfast on January 23.  We have invited the arena football team mascot (Mahoning Valley Thunder) as well as the mayor, and parents to join us.  We’ll serve whole wheat  french toast sticks and orange juice to the whole school and the Thunder mascot will be talking about what the football players eat and do to stay tough!  Our food service director and school superintendent will be serving the food.  We’ve invited local TV stations to cover, as well as the newspapers. 

We’re also incorporating these activities at our other elementary schools. since we have things already set up, it’s easy to move it to the other schools.  We’re doing a whole wheat lunch and learn at Reilly – we teach the 3rd and 4th graders about whole wheat while they’re eating lunch (we do one class at a time so it’s a special occasion), have a whole wheat scavenger hunt and then do some crazy dance moves to get some activity in.


Whole Wheat Challenge with voting

May 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Nutrition Focus: Whole Grains Challenges | Leave a comment
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TOTH Elementary – Perrysburg Schools, near Toledo, OH.  Submitted by Sam Doria, PE Teacher

Set Up the Challenge

  1. Had 2nd and 3rd graders make posters for the hallways.
  2. Did an announcement first day of challenge to get everyone involved.
  3. Sent a little letter to our local newspaper letting them about the challenge.
  4. I also copied worksheets that the teachers could copy and hand out their students.
  5. Lastly, I sent a letter to our parents association letting them about the grain challenge.  Asking if each one could send a loaf of bread to help with our second event.

Experience the Challenge:

  1. With the loaves of bread we got from our parents club.  We are going to have the students taste test 3 different kinds of breads during lunch.  After the kids taste each one we will see which bread is liked the most.

Take the challenge home:

  1. I had the kids do another scavenger hunt.  This time each one had to find their favorite food item from the grain group.  They will take a picture of themselves and bring it back into school.
  2. My 2nd option has them making a recipe that includes ingredients from the grain group.  After the recipe is done the kids will bring back their recipe to school.

Track the challenge:

  1. We will again track the students by what kind of bread they liked the most.  This will happen by each student picking out a color that corresponds to the bread.  The colored pieces of paper will be collected.  The pieces will be placed on a graph showing what bread was most liked.


The following large banner was posted in the center hall to give results of the bread testing:

Students dropped square of paper into hat to vote on which whole grain they liked best.

Celebrate the Challenge:

We will celebrate by having the pictures of the students hanging up around school.  This will show their favorite food item from the grains group.

  1. The recipes the kids bring in will be distributed to other students and teachers in the school. 
  2. I will make announcement what the winning bread was.  Also, hang up a graph in the cafeteria showing which ones the kids liked the most and the least.
  3. Sending a little letter to our local newspaper letting them the results of our 2nd event.  Also, giving a little update on Game On generally.

Whole Grains Challenge

May 2, 2009 at 4:13 am | Posted in Nutrition Focus: Whole Grains Challenges | Leave a comment
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A grandma - happy to help volunteer!

A grandma - happy to help volunteer!

Columbus Torah Academy’s wellness committee organized a whole grains challenge, where students, teachers and parents learned about whole grains.    They held an oatmeal breakfast, with new and creative toppings for students to sample, and

Happy to try a new oatmeal topping!

the next day during lunch, students  were offered a “make your own” yogurt parfait bar, which included whole grain granola.  Table tents with whole grain information were placed on the lunch tables, and new posters were up on the walls.  As an incentive, students who participated were entered into a drawing to win prizes.   Older students were given a quiz during class; the answers to which were on new posters in the cafeteria.  Volunteers purchased some prizes from Ohio Action for Healthy Kids grant funds, and others were donated.         


For this special week, the food service director served brown rice, whole grain rolls, and whole wheat tortillas as wraps.  She remarked that complaints were sparce; in fact very few students even noticed!  When asked about barriers to serving whole grains more, she mentioned the fact that the commodities she needs to use are mostly refined grain products.

One of the prizes - a gift certificate from a local bakery

One of the prizes - a gift certificate for challuh bread from a local bakeryFun fitness and wellness prizes for all who participated in tasting!

Parent volunteers help purchase food and prepare for tasting

Parent volunteers help purchase food and prepare for tasting

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