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Jefferson Smoothie Blend Off!

Michaleh Snider,   Jefferson Middle
Community Involvement, Student Leadership,  Teamwork
Jefferson Smoothie Blend Off!
Students were put into groups in order to determine recipes for healthy meal replacement smoothies. We determined that smoothies needed to include 4 of the 5 food groups, have no added sugar, and be extra delicious! Smoothies also could not have more than one serving of fruit. It was great to see kids learn to evaluate sweetness in fruits and vegetables to balance out the flavors! Students worked with nutrition specialists and local chefs to evaluate recipes and perfect their smoothies. After smoothie recipes were approved, students created a poster advertisement for their smoothie. Posters had to include the recipe. We will be hanging the posters in the cafeteria so that other students can take pictures and try out smoothie recipes. After recipes and advertisements were complete, students participated in a blend off. We had the school district nutrition director and three chefs come in to help students taste and modify their smoothies. Students made enough smoothies for everyone to sample. We invited our administrators, teachers, and parents to come and sample smoothies as well. As a group, we all sampled every smoothie and gave feed back. We obviously voted for the best as well! We did all of this over two weeks of school. I have been using my class time (as a health and PE teacher) to promote plays and events in the school, mostly because I came to the school in January and have not had a time to establish a Fuel Up to Play 60 group in the school outside of class time! We did the blend off in class and had an absolute BLAST!

How did students and adults work together as a team?

We invited experts in to work with groups of students on their recipe development. Students have been working in Health Teams all semester and so the teamwork developed between students was already in place. Having an adult to bounce ideas off of was crucial, because most (about 80%) of my students had never cooked or made smoothies before!

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

We had the school district nutrition directors come to the event. Our hope is that we can submit the smoothies and the guidelines to the district as well as letters from students explaining how much a smoothie program would have a positive impact on breakfast participation in the schools. Smoothie guidelines were strict and followed "MyPlate" recommendations for serving sizes!

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

We were making smoothies in the classroom, so we had problems such as food storage and power access. We made it simple and I brought in a bunch of coolers and ice. Students brought in their supplies the morning and we just went with it! We had permission from the administration and the custodial staff to use one specific bathroom for cleanup!