Welcome to Camp CHW, a new virtual camp experience full of healthy living activities for the whole family. We are excited that you have decided to join us and cannot wait to share all the fun that we have in store.
Camp CHW involves two parts. First, you will receive our digital newsletter each week full of activities for the coming week. We will always include a nutrition education lesson and an interactive activity to reinforce the main themes of the lesson. We will also always include several ways to help your children burn off some of their energy. For preschool and elementary tracts, this will generally take the form of movement songs and short games. In addition to exercise ideas, our middle school tract will also include a brief fitness lesson as well. Each week we will also include Camp CHW homework in the form of a family health handout. Each week will have a goal for you to complete as a family as well as additional ideas, activities, and recipes based on the weekly theme. Most weeks will also include links to more fun activities.
Second, Camp CHW counselors will be available throughout the week within each of Camp CHW’s Facebook groups. (Preschool, Elementary, and Middle School) We will be posting videos of many of the activities included in the weekly newsletters and will be available to answer any questions you may have. We also have some exciting virtual field trips planned as well as several opportunities for interaction. We encourage you to share photos of your experiences as you go along. Make sure that you don’t miss out on the fun and join the groups today!
Click on the photo below to go to the Camp CHW facebook groups page.
Today’s fast-paced society tempts us with an abundance of food choices. Distractions have shifted attention away from the actual act of eating toward televisions, computers, and smartphones. Eating has become a mindless act ... but it doesn’t have to be.
During this first week we will be focusing on mindful eating. One way to begin to eat mindfully is to simply focus on how we use all five of our senses when eating. Eating mindfully can help you make healthier choices, improve digestion, and enjoy greater pleasure for the foods that you eat.
The first sense we use when we eat food is our vision or sight. We look with our eyes at what is on our plate or the food that is on the shelf at the store. Our mind thinks that the look of something tells us how the food is going to taste.
We use sight to determine initial quality assessment. Sight is used to determine if the food has been properly cooked, is fresh with no brown spots, whether it looks desirable to eat and should we purchase it. Over the years, scientists have found that even the color of food can change our perception about that food, again using the sense of sight to determine how that food might taste. For example, people perceive that if something is green, it is fresh and has better nutrition.
We also use our nose when we walk into a kitchen or at a barbeque. Our mind thinks the smell of something tells us what that food might be and if we are going to like it or not. There are two main ways our sense of smell is used when eating food. There is a direct way when we smell through our nose. There is also an indirect way that happens once we put the food in our mouth.
Eating with our ears sounds somewhat funny, but when we think about our five senses, we do use our ears when we eat: we listen for the frying of fish or the crunch of potato chips.
Touch is an easier sense to think about when we are eating. Texture can be felt with your fingers, tongue, teeth and palate. As a baby, texture of food came to us slowly and many times babies had very soft texture foods to start with. Just imagine if all our food was the texture of baby food!
Finally, how does the food we put in our mouth taste? Taste is one of the main things people think about when we bite into an apple or drink coffee. Five basic tastes can be identified when we eat something:
Sweet - This includes honey, sugar and many other sweeteners.
Salt - This includes table, kosher, and sea salt.
Sour - This can come from lemons, limes, grapefruit, etc.
Bitter - This can come from cocoa, coffee beans, etc.
Umani - Umami was discovered in 1908 and means pleasant to the taste or savory. Umami taste comes from things like soy sauce or parmesan cheese.
This week when eating with your children, help them think not only about how their food tastes, but also how it looks, sounds, feels, and smells.
PRACTICING MINDFUL EATING
Help your preschooler practice mindful eating with this fun popcorn investigation. You will need ingredients to make popcorn either by microwaving, air popper, or stovetop, as well as a pair of scissors, and a glue stick (optional). You will also need one copy of all five popcorn containers, and several copies of the popcorn sheet. (If you have older preschool children, have them practice their cutting skills by helping you cut out the containers and popcorn kernels.)
While the popcorn is popping begin prompting your children to think about what they are observing through their sense of smell and hearing. Record their observations (e.g., popcorn popping is loud) on individual pieces of popcorn. Continue prompting as your children look at, feel, and finally taste the popcorn.
After the observation phase, lay out the five popcorn containers and all popcorn kernels on a table in front of your children. Depending on the age(s) of your children, read or have them read each kernel and sort the observations based on the sense involved. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also have your children glue the sorted kernels on top of each container.
(Printables courtesy of Sunny and Bright in Primary. Check out the rest of their materials, here.)
MOVEMENT & MUSIC
To continue our focus on our five senses, join your kids in a series of musical movement songs.
Yes, Camp CHW does have homework . . . but it's fun. This week's family goal is to try three new fruits or vegetables with your child and talk about how each food looks, smells, sounds, taste, and feels. Also check out the recommended books, delicious recipes, and additional activites included in this week's health handout. (Click on the photo for a printable pdf.)
Painting with Vegetables
Check out No Time for Flash Cards for a fun broccoli painting and color mixing activity. (Click on photo above for link.)
DIY Food Face Plate
Check out Adventure in a Box for a fun plate decorating craft. If you are not intersted in making a plate, you can simply tape their face printable to the bottom of a glass plate. (Click on photo above for link.)