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Gooseberries and Goosebumps

Suzette Porter,   Mason Elem School
Access to Healthy Foods
Gooseberries and Goosebumps

Apprehension, weird stares, turned up noses and frowns is what I met as I begin to pull the small orange, round fruit that mirrored a cherry tomato from the bag. Dr. Hosea’s 5th grade class at Roswell B. Mason Elementary School was curious, but not sure what it was. Their fear-fill faces were like NOOOooooo! What is that? Do we have to eat that? Yuck! I began to talk and engaged the students by allowing them to guess what they thought the food was in the clear plastic bag; fruit or vegetable, sour or sweet, soft or hard, etc. Hands went up and classroom 303 began to become more and more engaged in our discussion. After discussing the official and common name for Uchava, cape gooseberries, we discussed ways they could be eaten, what other foods were in the same family, such as potatoes or tomatoes. In addition to sharing the nutritional value of eating them and being good for their tummies, they are good source of Vitamin P! I asked them how they thought the gooseberries could be prepared? We shared out various ways to enjoy them like in a pie, jam or just plain. As I got their buy-in and attention, I started passing out the individually prepared bags of gooseberries. They were now eager to try the gooseberries. I was so excited to learn that they all wanted to try them for the first time in their lives! They had never heard or tasted a gooseberry before. What started out a bit apprehensively and gave me shear uncertainty, ultimately ended with goosebumps with the level of excitement they had as we learned about gooseberries!

How did you accomplish your goals?

I sent out a informational notice to all teachers about Fuel Up to Play 60 and the awareness of healthier snacks and learning about healthier foods. I challenged each room to be actively engaging in learning and tasting the healthy snacks delivered to the classroom. I would surprise a class and pop in to catch them in the act of enjoying a healthy snack. That classroom would be highlighted for the week!

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

Continue to go to the rooms and surprising the class will engaging them about the healthy snack. I will continue to build on to this process as well, through other activities.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Fitting this activity into my schedule at the time that is designated at the same time when something else may be going on in the building or a new crisis arises.