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Bones Need Calcium!

Submitted by: Martha Watt
From: Van Buren, AR
Date Submitted: March 1, 2003

While my 6th graders were studying a unit on the skeletal system, I discovered that many of them do not drink milk, saying that they don't like the way it taste. Scarey, huh? So, we interrupted the unit for a mini unit on nutrition. They discovered that dark green vegetable are also a source rich in calcium. But, let's face facts. Kids that will not drink milk, are really going to dig in to those dark green vegetables. Right!!

To address the needs of these students we took an additional day to find a way that everyone in class will lick their lips in anticipation over a yummy glass of milk. We made smoothies. I got the idea from a website for girls which encouraged them to drink milk or use dairy products for healthy bones. (www. cdc.gov/powerfulbones/)

You don't have to be a gourmet to pour milk, a little sugar, some vanilla, or other extract like almond into a blender with some fruit - we used strawberries, bananas, and orange juice (remember the Orange Julius?). Throw in some ice to freeze it, and you've got a thick calcium rich drink that everyone will love. While the students were drinking their smoothies, they had to create a meal plan for one day (three meals and several snacks) that provided the necessary calcium, servings of fruits, vegetables, meats or meat substitues, breads etc. I had them bring in food labels from home to help with this project.


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