Whole Grains and Beans Snack Food Lab

Last week students prepared a variety of whole grain and beans snacks:

 Cowboy Caviar,

The students loved the lab, especially the cookie dough dip.  I edited the recipes to suit my class size and level (Download my copies here).  It was a good way for my student to practice their knife skills.  My students don’t know it yet, but they will be preparing fried rice for their final lab.  This whole grains and beans snack food lab is a great review.

Whole Grains Preparation Lab

Sunset OatsAfter students have learned how to make good choices when choosing grain based breads and snacks, I have a lab for preparing whole grains from scratch. Most of the students were familiar with rice but all of the other grains were new to them.

Each kitchen makes a different whole grain.

  • Steel cut oats
  • Quinoa
  • Bulgur
  • Cornmeal
  • Rice
Then each student had a wide variety of grains to taste.  I offer various toppings to make the grains a bit more enticing for the newbies.
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Raisins
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
The favorite usually ends up being cornmeal mush. My students like it with maple syrup. I find that funny because older generations wrinkle their nose at cornmeal mush. 🙂

Whole Grain Labeling Activity

Whole wheat grain flour being scooped
After our MyPlate project I can see that my students need a little more work on whole grains.  They noticed that Poptarts and Oreos counted towards servings of grains and now think they are healthy snack servings.

I start this lesson with a formative assessment to evaluate what students already know about whole grains.  I show the students a collection of bread and snack packaging.  I hold up each item and ask for either a thumbs up for “healthy” or down “unhealthy.”  Students are basically guessing based on packaging because they cannot read a nutrition label from where they are.

When the labels are sorted I show a YouTube clip describing the importance of fiber. (HealthiNation is a great channel to follow for quick, informative nutrition clips.)
After a short discussion on fiber I show a clip about choosing whole grain bread.

Using information from the videos I ask the students to read information from the various labels and decide if the food is a good source of fiber and if it is a whole grain.

I have a tendency to grab the most healthy-looking package instead of reading a label to be sure that the bread or product is a whole grain. This lesson plan is a good reminder for me!

Tomorrow we are preparing various whole grains from scratch.  We found out today that the main ingredient in Fruit Loops is indeed whole wheat flour… followed by sugar.  Hopefully tomorrow’s lab will create some oatmeal and polenta converts!