A wellness curriculum for 1st graders was developed by their teacher to include the Chair of Physical Education Department, the Guidance Counselor, and myself. Each of us took part in presenting classes throughout the school year. From time to time I will enjoy sharing a funny or poignant story from those experiences.
Part of my responsibility was to eat lunch with the 1st graders to discuss healthy eating. I would bring my sack lunch (carefully planned, of course!) and join them in their room where we sat in a circle to eat and dissect our meals. Some of the students brought lunch trays up from the cafeteria and some had lunch bags or boxes from home.
Do you remember the “Four Food Groups?” This was the emphasis before the “Food Pyramid” appeared on the nutrition scene. For several Wednesdays we examined our lunches to see how we did or did not meet the recommendations.
On such a day, I stepped inside the entrance to the classroom area and saw Jenny running toward me, her blond pony tail flying, her cheeks bright pink above her broad grin as she held out her lunch bag. She stopped in front of me, looked up, and sputtered, “Oh, Nurse Flemr . . . I’ve got such exciting news to tell you. You are not going to believe this! My mother got ALL FOUR FOOD GROUPS in ONE SANDWICH! She has bread from the grain group . . . ham from the meat group . . . lettuce from the fruit and vegetable group . . . and, uh . . . cheese from the dairy group! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?”
Before I could respond, Jenny reached into the bag, pulled out a cellophane wrapped delight, and plaintively declared, “But, Nurse Flemr . . . I just don’t know WHAT to do with these Twinkies.”