you-are-whatBy Kadira Crowder

Do you eat greasy, fattening, processed food? Or do you know how to make healthy eating choices? The fifth graders at PS 34 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City showed their friends and families how to make healthy choices at their Healthy Choices Food Festival.

On April 22nd the school cafeteria turned into a healthy snack sampling station. About a month before the event the 42 fifth graders were given six different recipes for nutritious snacks that kids would like. They went to the supermarket in groups and wrote down the nutrition information for each ingredient in their snack. Then the students did some tricky math that included making their own nutrition labels for each snack. On the day of the 22nd the students went to the supermarket again, this time to buy the ingredients to whip up their snacks.

At the event, both students and teachers discussed topics including calories, good fat versus bad fat, processed versus fresh food, eating in moderation and serving sizes. The students also wrote down what they ate for almost a week, and then noticed that if they made a food pyramid of their eating choices, most students would have an upside down pyramid, meaning they eat more of what they should eat less of and less of what they should eat more of.

Finally, it was time to eat. Students and families were able to sample the snacks!

“The most important thing I learned in the nutrition unit is all the chemicals that are in foods we eat,” said Omar Ishmael, a fifth grader. “Now I’m thinking [about]what goes in to my body and howit will affect [me].”

Kadira is a 5th grade student at PS 34.