My Week as a High School Teacher

IMG_5015It’s been a very busy week…I spent Monday and Tuesday creating a new presentation for J Serra Catholic High School. They asked me to teach the “Nutrition 101″ portion of the freshman high school Health class. Well, I developed the talk and then had to give the same class 6 times!!! And the classes are an hour and 20 minutes long!!! How will I keep their attention for that long? What would make it more fun and engaging? After all, we had to cover the definition, functions and food sources of nutrients; carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.

After surviving the last couple of days, I can tell you I have a whole new respect for teachers! It’s NOT an easy task! I am used to public speaking and have no problem with that, but usually the groups I speak to are there because they want to listen to what I have to say! They are interested in gaining that “Nutrition Edge” to become more competitive in their sports, they want to win and if that means changing their eating habits for a while they’re willing to do it.

High School freshmen, however, different story all together. Although I must say I was VERY impressed with them; polite, engaged and I always had someone to answer a question. Even my very first question: “Who here really cares about what they eat? Why?” I know I certainly didn’t when I was a freshman in high school, but I had at least 25% of the class raise their hands and with valid reasons. Some said “I want to be healthy and feel good,” others “I don’t want to get fat and sick from all the processed food out there” and some even said “I want to live to see my grandkids!” VERY insightful young adults!

I had a table full of food, all kinds of food; not only vegetables, fruits, dairy, nuts, meats and beans but also Ding Dongs, Twinkies, Gatorade and powdered donuts. I asked for volunteers to come up and pick out sources of carbs, proteins and fats. They did pretty well! But they also learned that avocados, fish and nuts are good sources of fats, that fruits and vegetables have carbohydrates + vitamins, minerals and fiber and that you can get good quality proteins from dairy and even green leafy vegetables. And of course I handed out bars to those who answered questions so I had plenty of volunteers! Kids will do anything for food!

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Then we moved on to the “fun” and practical part: we spent time talking about eating at the Mall, fast food restaurants, at the movies, at Starbucks...they had to guess the calories in a Big Mac, a large movie popcorn and a Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. It was funny to see their faces react with surprise, disgust and anguish over their favorite Panda Express dish or Subway sandwich. My goal was that they learn to appreciate and respect food, to value their health and practice moderation. And if I touched a few of them then it was all worth it.

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If your middle school, high school or team would be interested in this Real World Teen Nutrition 101 Class, have them contact me at jacq@doctorjacq.com. Have a great weekend and stay tuned, big announcement from Doctor Jacq coming soon!

 

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