Once you put car keys in the hands of a teenager your life and their life changes in many ways. Before they drive and hangout with their friends parents pretty much control what they do to a large degree. Given new mobility comes many new choices they have to make without parents to help. There are many things that I could blog about right now drugs, alcohol, sexual activity, smoking but I am choosing just one. Food. As a teacher of high school students for the last 25 years I have seen first hand the eating trends of young Americans. Most of their eating patterns are poor. They choose to sleep late and not to eat breakfast. This is especially true for the females. They just don’t get the fact that metabolism slows down if you don’t fill the tank leading to weight gain because of overeating the rest of the day. If they do eat breakfast 95% of them choose a high fat biscuit with chicken or sausage. Now I am not saying they eat this just a few times a month NO it is everyday! They don’t drink milk instead they choose to drink soft drinks or energy drinks. For that reason I do not allow either one of these in my classroom. They are allowed water, milk or a juice that has 100% Vitamin C. They eat very few fruits and vegetables. It is sad. We discuss this in my classroom quite a bit. Just recently, each student had to keep a food dairy for 3 days and plug it into http://www.mypyramid.gov. Some of them were shocked that their diets were rated so poorly. Out of 60 students there were only six that had fairly decent meals for the three days.
Now my job as a Nutrition and Wellness teacher is to help them make better choices, but on the same hand to teach them to prepare meals at home that are easy, inexpensive, and nutritious. In some ways that is hard for me. I have a budget, too. I don’t have the luxury of preparing entire meals every lab that we have . It’s all very expensive. I break it down into units such as bread, fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, and meats. We do a couple of meals that will have a main dish as well as a side dish. I focus on teaching great cooking skills, planning healthy menus, and money-saving shopping skills. Hopefully when these young teens get out on their own they will be able to make better food choices. I want them to be able to prepare healthy meals at home that will foster good family life.
Our new unit of study for the next couple of weeks is eggs and dairy foods. Today we did a breakfast of french toast, Canadian bacon and strawberries. This is very quick to fix. It could be done in ten minutes especially if you have everything you need put out the night before. Even the eggs, milk and flavorings could be mixed and refrigerated for a big time saver. You can find the recipe here. Now here are the photos of the French Toast cook-off.
You might like these recipes for French toast:
- Simply Recipes French Toast
- Pinch My Salt Basic French Toast
- For The Love of Cooking Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
- Poor Girl Eats Well French Toast
The Teacher Cooks