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Okay, I’ll confess! Somehow health is one subject area that does not always have a big focus in our homeschool. Two years back we used health textbooks specific to grade level for P and R. Last year it was more a matter of learning about good health through everyday living. Now, I have plenty of homeschool friends that would say that alone is enough. Isn’t getting kids to really brush their teeth and wash their hands a major feat? I know those are hygiene areas still being reinforced in our household and important to good health. But, I can’t help feeling like the boys could benefit from a more directed study.
So what should appear in my inbox one day, but a link to download the Nutrition 101: Choose Life! study produced by Growing Healthy Homes. Here I was in the midst of planning some sort of human body study for the boys to do as health this spring and now I was given something already compiled for me with hands on activities and recipes for each chapter. If there is one thing the boys don’t complain about, it is doing cooking and eating what they’ve made as part of school.
Nutrition 101: Choose Life! may appear (at first glance) to be your basic walk through the body systems with a recipe for each chapter. But, it goes further to explain how what we eat impacts each system. And, the POWER recipe for the chapter provides the nutrients needed for that particular system. R was getting hungry the day we talked about this program and what we’d be doing. Just hearing the titles of the recipes included in the text had him hungry.
For our testing of the eBook, we have started at the beginning and spent one week per chapter. Here’s the suggested plan of study:
The first day is spent reading the chapter up to the first set of activities. The second day is spent completing one of more of the suggested activities as well as discussing the week’s POWER recipe. The third day is when we gather (shop for) ingredients needed and then make the recipe. The fourth day is then spent wrapping up the chapter with additional activities and review of the information.
We’ve kept mostly to this schedule, although we had to set the recipes aside to do as a unit wrap up rather than each week. The hot August weather had me avoiding errands, so a trip to the store for ingredients had to be delayed. However, this component really makes the study fun for everyone while expanding our repertoire of healthy eating.
As this book is written to be used up through high school, I have found that some of the information is a bit beyond my younger boys. So, I do the reading aloud and have done some editing out of details that would just fog their understanding at the minute. I’d rather go through this course a second time when they are older and add in the more detailed information then. I will say that the overview of the brain in Chapter 1 was well written, but just a bit more detail than an elementary student might grasp. Chapter 2 was easy enough for my older boys to grasp, but was long enough that we took 2 days to read it.
This text is long as there are many appendices after the main text. Included in the appendices are shopping guides for buying produce as well as their version of a food pyramid. The boys found that page particularly interesting as this program encourages a higher proportion of food come from fruits and vegetables compared to the ‘standard’ food pyramid found in other books. They even include a checklist style sheet for anyone trying to follow the food pyramid to record what they’ve consumed.
Overall, this is a well written program that integrates study of the body systems with nutrition needed for good health. While our family has not completely adapted the ‘new’ food pyramid, we are making more of an effort to include more fruits and vegetables in our diet while cutting back on empty calories. We do plan to continue working through the book and then revisit it again in a few years for reinforcement.
You can find more information about the book at Growing Healthy Homes. The book can be purchased as an ebook on CD ($79.95), in printed format($99.95) or as a combo (129.95). Also, other TOS Crew reviews on this product can be found on the TOS Crew site.