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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Minerals are found in nearly all the foods listed on MyPyramid. They do not supply energy as carbohydrates, fats and proteins do, but they are essential because they regulate the body chemistry and body functions.
Minerals cannot be produced by our bodies. They must be ingested (eaten in our food). Minerals are sometimes chemical constituents of vitamins. Minerals are also found in enzymes, hormones, bones and muscles. Minerals can become part of the body’s structure. There are about sixty different minerals that make up about four percent of the body. Science is still learning about many of the functions of minerals.
Minerals are also divided into two groups. Macrominerals are found in relatively large amounts and trace minerals are found in very small amounts in the body. An incomplete list of minerals include:
FUNCTIONS OF MINERALS
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING STRATEGIES
OPTION # 2
“A two-year-old child, Sonya, craves mud pies and cat litter even though her parents provide her with a varied and healthy diet. Her parents can’t solve this mystery. Can you?”
VARIATION: Create an advertisement and/or a bulletin board that sells a particular mineral. Have students work in groups. The advertisement or bulletin board must include: food sources, function in the body, deficiency disease. Use EVALUATION FORM FOR MINERAL PRESENTATION to judge results.
VARIATION: Have each group or team write one test question and the answer to that question. These could be compiled to comprise a quiz.
As a class, compare the nutrient differences between the raw vegetables and their prepared counterparts. Use nutritive values charts that you used in Section IV Unit 1—Basic Vitamins.
OR compare nutritive values of dark green vegetables vs. light green. Orange vegetables vs. white. You’ll see that darker vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. That’s why MyPyramid suggests eating a variety of vegetables and including the dark green and orange and red vegetables.
NOTE TO TEACHER: Students who are not experienced in reading the nutritive value charts will need some direction. They should not assume that a low number automatically translates to a low nutritive value. Have the students look at the % of RDA in order to make a value comparison. Helping them to read the charts is an excellent way to teach reading in the content area. For example 1000 IU of Vitamin A looks like a great amount but it is only 20% of the RDA.
Demonstrate the use of a variety of kitchen utensils used in various cooking methods and procedures. Beside conventional cooking pans, etc., demonstrate the use of the crock pot, pressure pan, electric fry pan, and microwave oven.
Have students research to discover what happens to minerals when vegetables are cooked. Have them complete the worksheet RAW VS. COOKED. Discuss various cooking methods best suited for cooking vegetables.
VARIATION: Have each group prepare one recipe. Assign each unit a different vegetable recipe, and perhaps a different cooking or preparation technique. (This could be done as a round robin activity). Have them prepare that vegetable in two different ways. Assemble the prepared dishes in one location. Have students compare cooking methods visually and by taste. Discuss results.
NOTE TO TEACHER: An additional bit of information is an article by Beth Weinhouse reporting on Best Ways to Get the Broccoli Benefit. Quote: “We now know that eating broccoli can ward off cancer, thanks to a special chemical it contains, but how you cook the vegetable may be crucial to getting the full benefit. Best bets are microwaving and steaming because they leave the cancer-fighting chemical intact, say researchers at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University (other cooking methods are still being studied). If you can’t stand broccoli no matter how it’s cooked, don’t worry: high levels of the same chemical also show up in kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, and green onions.”
VARIATION: Display a large variety of fresh vegetables. Place a stand-up card in front of each vegetable that gives the nutritive content of that vegetable. Have students select a vegetable to prepare (teacher can supply recipes or have students find their own). Have students calculate the calcium and sodium content of one serving and identify other foods that could be eaten in the meal to obtain 100% of the recommended daily allowance for calcium.
Have the students brainstorm ten ways for people who do not like to drink milk to increase their calcium consumption. Pass out copies of Nutritive Value booklets. Have students search for foods that are high in calcium. Record ideas on the chalkboard.
Teacher reference list for brainstorm session:
Supportive background information on calcium:
VARIATION: Divide the class into two groups (or divide each unit into two groups). Have groups sit opposite each other. Using flash cards containing the names of the vitamins and minerals, hold them over the heads of one group and have the other group give clues, functions, sources, and deficiency diseases. Students have one minute to guess what is on the flash card. Points are given for each card correctly identified.
NOTE TO TEACHER: This variation is an excellent review for the post test or final evaluation.
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