My sister-in-law, J, sent me some stickers to give to my students a while back. As I was looking through them, I noticed that there were a lot of uncolored stickers of food products. I automatically thought of using them in our lesson about nutrition. Another PC HESC volunteer had the great idea to teach basic food nutrition using a rainbow instead of the food pyramid. The more colorful the meal, the healthier it is for you. So the more Red #40, Blue #1, and Yellow #5 the better, right? Wrong. My students were very disappointed when I told them this rule does not apply to artificial colorings.

We started the lesson by talking about some of our favorite foods like plăcinte, cake, bread, pastries, etc. And we all came to the conclusion that the tastiest treats are white or yellow (or artificially colored). For each meal, the food on our plate should look as close to a rainbow as possible to make sure we are getting all the vitamins and nutrients we should be. The students were divided into groups, given these uncolored stickers, and told that they currently had unhealthy meals because they were all white or uncolored. The were instructed to turn these white meals into colorful meals using as many colors of the rainbow as they could. This activity actually required a lot of creativity on their part. Even though they may have been given a sticker with a cake, they had to decide how to color that cake to make it healthier, thus, the cake becoming a piece of bread with tomatoes, green onions, and cheese on top.

Thanks to J for the stickers and L for the rainbow idea, the lesson turned out really well, and it was great for the students to actually practice coming up with healthier alternatives to eating.