In this nutrition and health lesson plan, teachers will explore the book, Bread and Jam for Frances. In this book, the main character Frances is a picky eater. Students will learn about nutrition and health by what happens to poor Frances when all she eats is bread and jam.
For Picky Eaters
In the beloved old favorite, Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban, Frances becomes a picky eater. All she likes to eat is bread and jam. In this lesson students will learn the nutrition terms, balance, variety and moderation from Frances' example. The reason Frances became a picky eater was that she did not like the way the food looked on her plate and she did not like the taste of new foods. She likes to eat bread and jam at every meal, because it is the same.
Teaching about Proper Nutrition with the Book
Discuss what happens to Frances when all she eats is bread and jam at every meal (including snacks) for two days. Frances became bored, worried about her health and sluggish. This is because she was only receiving the same nutrients, meal after meal, from the bread and jam.
Discuss balance, variety and moderation. Balance means, to eat enough from all of the food groups. Variety means, to eat different kinds of foods from all of the food groups. Moderation means, to not overdo any one food or food group. Students must have balance, variety and moderation in their diets to obtain the adequate nutrients they need to play and grow.
Discuss how Frances' parents and friend at school may have influenced Frances to eat better. Her mom and dad did not coerce her to eat. They let her learn for herself that it is not good nutritional health to eat only bread and jam. Her friend, Albert, taught her by his example to enjoy different kinds (or a variety) of foods.
Bring a variety of foods to school that students may not have otherwise tasted. Good examples, are kumquats, mangoes, avocados, pomegranate, coconut milk, or kiwi. Have the students use their senses to describe the sight, smell and feel of the foods. How are they the same or different than foods they normally eat? For those who are willing, allow the students to taste test the new foods. Have the students describe the new foods in a journal, including pictures and labels. For another lesson plan about the senses, read more here.
Have the students search in magazines for foods that they have never tasted, to share with their families.
Involve families in the lesson. Have a special, unique recipe day where families prepare a dish that may be different.