It was time for first graders’ wellness lunch, and I so looked forward to those weekly events. I joined them in a circle of desks—some lunches in bags from home and some on school trays. Each of us explained how our particular lunch fulfilled the goal of containing all four food groups. (This was before the food pyramid!)
In the circle of energy-filled and hungry students sat Albert, who was 6 or 7 going on at least 30-years-of age. He was a constant challenge and delight to his teacher who arranged opportunities to expand his curriculum—such as sending him to the sixth grade class for computer instruction.
When it was Albert’s turn to dissect his lunch, he sat up straight and held out each item as he spoke:
“Well, first you can all see I have this peanut butter sandwich. I hope you remember peanut butter comes from the meat or protein group. And, the bread, of course, is from the bread group. You see here my pear—it is from the fruit and vegetable group, of course.”
He paused and then continued, “Now—I suppose you are all asking yourselves, ‘where is his milk group?’ Well, I don’t have the milk group because I am allergic to milk.”
Albert paused again, leaned forward, looked at me down the circle and said, “Nurse Flemr, I am sure you will pleased to know I had my two calcium tablets this morning.”