March is National Nutrition Month

Kids Will Gobble Up These Books!


The Healthy Body CookbookThe The Healthy Body Cookbook: Over 50 Fun Activities and Delicious Recipes for Kids provides more than 50 fun activities and delicious recipes that kids can try in four easy-to-digest sections.

  • Discovering the Kitchen introduces young readers to the tools of the trade; cooking skills (cutting, measuring, mixing, and more); and safety rules for using the stove, the microwave, and knives.
  • Your Amazing Body introduces recipes for developing healthy hearts, muscles, bones, teeth, hair, and more. The authors provide a hands-on science activity to introduce each section, along with three or four recipes. Each recipe has detailed instructions that kids can follow, and each is coded according to difficulty. (One chef’s hat indicates an “easy” recipe and three hats indicate a recipe for a “pro.”)
  • Staying Healthy provides recipes related to the food guide pyramid, maintaining a healthy weight, and fighting disease with foods.
  • Appendices explore the nutrient contents of the recipes provided, reading food labels, and food poisoning. A glossary pulls it all together.

D’Amico and Drummond open each section of their book with activities that would make great additions to any elementary or middle school curriculum. An activity that directs kids to create their own stethoscopes introduces the Have a Healthy Heart section. Kids map their teeth in an activity that opens Look Mom, No Cavities!


Grace Lin’s illustrations have appeared in dozens of publications, including Weekly Reader, Ms. Magazine, and Seventeen. Now Lin has created her first children’s book — and it’s a winner! The Ugly Vegetables (Charlesbridge Publishing) is a story from the heart — and from the heart of Lin’s childhood upstate New York.

The book opens as planting season begins. The little girl in the book and her mother are preparing their backyard garden. Their neighbors — Mrs. Crumerine, the Fitzgeralds, and Mrs. Anglehowe — are doing the same. Soon the hard work begins to reap rewards, rewards that disappoint the young girl.

All the other yards in the neighborhood blossom with colorful poppies and peonies and petunias, but the girl’s garden is disappointing. All varieties of “ugly vegetables” — “big and lumpy” and “icky yellow,” — sprout in the garden. Mother’s earlier promises to “wait and see” are no consolation for the rainbows of flowers that fill nearby gardens!

The summer passes and harvest time comes. After lots of washing and cutting, an unfamiliar aroma soon fills the neighborhood air. That aroma draws the neighbors, each of whom offers a handful of flowers in exchange for a helping of mother’s special soup. All the neighbors promise to raise a combination of colorful flowers and “ugly vegetables” in next year’s gardens!

Lin’s cheery, vibrant illustrations and her touching story of cultural exchange make a great addition to spring storytelling. The book closes with a glossary of terms, a pronunciation guide for the Chinese vegetables that are an important ingredient in this story, and — of course — a recipe for Ugly Vegetable Soup!


Who would have thought that food snacks could be used to teach math facts, measurement, geometry, time, money, and estimation? The folks at Teacher Created Materials, that’s who!

Math Snacks: Problem-Solving Fun with Food Manipulatives, a new addition to the Teacher Created Materials library, provides dozens of perforated pages for teaching a variety of primary-level math skills. Just tear out the pages and plop them on the copier. Add alphabet cereal, pretzels, pumpkin seeds, grapes, and other easy-to-find and inexpensive snacks to create memorable math experiences!

Math Snacks has everything a teacher might need. (Everything but the snacks, that is!) You’ll find letters to parents. One explains the curriculum, and another offers ideas for math-related activities to do at home. There’s even a form you can use to sign up parents who agree to provide the snacks. Assessment tools and a student evaluation are offered too.

Each student activity page provides space for students to do the math in picture form (for visual learners) and to write a sentence to describe their solutions. A challenge question at the bottom of each page extends the activity. Following is a sampling of four activities from this feast of Math Snacks!

  1. Provide each child with a cup of red and black licorice bits. Ask: If each piece of red licorice is worth 5 points and each piece of black licorice is worth 3 points, how much is your cup of licorice worth? (Math skill: Addition.)
  2. We have four dozen doughnut holes to share in class. If each student, the teacher, and the principal eat one, how many doughnut holes will be left over? (Math skill: Subtraction.)
  3. Provide each child with 12 jellybeans. Have children sort the jellybeans by color and draw a picture of the results. Ask: What fraction represents the color with the most jellybeans? (Math skill: Fractions.)
  4. Provide each student with a box of raisins. Ask kids to estimate the number of raisins in the box before they open the boxes and after opening the boxes and counting only the top layer. Then have kids dump out the raisins and count them. Ask : How close were your estimates to the actual count? (Math skill: Estimation.)

Those four activities offer a taste of what’s in store in Math Snacks. You’ll find more than six dozen activities that will satisfy your students’ appetites for math while fulfilling curriculum requirements!


  • The common yellow banana seen in most U.S. homes is the Cavendish banana.
  • Bananas grow mostly in tropical places. They can also grow in Iceland, where geysers provide the heat bananas need.
  • The banana plant is really the world’s largest herb.
  • Banana plants can be rooted like potatoes. Dig up the root, cut it up, and grow lots of banana plants!

Did you know those facts about bananas? Do you know how bananas grow? Do you know how they get from the plantations where they grow to your table? In Bananas (Charlesbridge Publishing) readers will learn those facts and many more! This veritable bible of bananas offers information and history plus banana jokes and banana recipes!

Education World, the Educator's Complete Resource Guide to the Internet, offers education professionals, parents, students, and administrators a place where they can start each day to find the lesson plans and research materials they are looking for. This site is updated daily with fresh new lesson plans and curriculum ideas, articles on issues that are of interest to educators, parents, and students, and much more.

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