Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Powerful Proteins, Single Activity
Content by: NCES, Inc.
Power Proteins are an essential part of our daily diet. Enjoy this fun activity for the classroom experience...
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, peas, eggs, nuts and seeds provide the body with protein, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, many B-vitamins and vitamin E. These nutrients are essential for good health. They help the body build healthy strong muscles, maintain a healthy immune system and maintain healthy nerve function. When eating foods from this group, it is important to make wise choices by incorporating beans, peas, nuts and seeds along with fish, skinless poultry and lean cuts of meat.
Lean cuts of beef include round steaks and roasts, top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts. Lean cuts of pork include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham. If choosing ground beef look for the “extra lean”, the label should read “90% lean” or even better 93% or 95% lean. Some children may eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, so their intake from this group may consist of dry beans (including tofu), peas, nuts and seeds.
Discussion Talking Points:
● Protein foods help our bodies build strong muscles.
● Muscles are what allow your body to move around - different muscles help us do different things.
How many muscles do you think we have in our body?
Answer: somewhere around 630! Protein is required to maintain muscle mass.
Here are some examples of healthy protein foods:
● Meats: beef, pork, chicken
● Fish: salmon, tuna
● Beans: black beans, chick peas, pinto beans, kidney beans
● Nuts: peanut butter, cashews, almonds
Physical Activity Ideas:
● Play freeze dance
● Take a walk
● Walk in place
● Do jumping jacks
● Use some of their 630 muscles
You can also ask each child to write down their favorite activity that requires them to use their muscles (examples riding a bike, jogging, climbing) on a note card or piece of paper.
● Collect the paper, mix them up, and then draw one by one out of a box, bowl or hat.
● Read the activity to the children and have them mime the activity, like riding a bike, jog in place, make the motions for climbing or swimming.
For added fun you could turn the music on! For older students - discuss each muscle that is moving during each activity
How much do cool students need?
● Children 6 to 8 year old need 3-5 ounces a day.
● Children 9-12 year olds need 4 -6 ounces a day.
Use a box of 8 crayons or a deck of playing cards to show what 2-3 ounces of meat looks like.
● You can use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to show a serving size of dried beans and peas and 1 tablespoon to illustrate the correct serving size of peanut butter. Showing students how much they need a day can encourage proper portions.
In addition to eating a healthy diet with lean meat and bean choices, what else do we need to do everyday to keep our muscles strong?
● [Take guesses] We have to be active everyday – play basketball, jump rope, ride your bike, swim, dance to your favorite music.