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Blog: Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Garden to Classroom: Healthy Choices at Fraser Middle

As instances of obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes in children continue to rise at alarming rates, a group of committed teachers at William A. Fraser Middle School are doing what they can to encourage students to make and choose delicious, locally-sourced and nutrient-dense food at school and at home.

Integrating Science, Math, and Language Arts with the revised Health curriculum, Grade 7 teachers Sonia Kraljevic and Elizabeth Cheng enlisted the help of the school’s Home Arts teacher, Joanne Snow, to plan a creative and collaborative project with their students. After learning about nutrients, the dangers of sugar, and how our food choices affect environment, students were tasked with becoming stewards of healthy living by creating and sharing recipes for nutrient-dense food items that they could prepare at school and share with the school community. The goal was to show their peers the importance of healthy food choices which can also be inexpensive, delicious, and easy and fun to prepare at home!

After settling on three recipes for a tropical green smoothie, spiced garden soup, and fresh vegetable and noodle salad, students set out to source their ingredients. The first place they looked was Fraser’s very own Edible Garden! Tended by students in the program, as well as members of the Garden Club, Fraser’s school garden grows a variety of herbs, fruits and vegetables (including tomatoes, lettuce, kale and kiwi) and provides an opportunity to learn about the science behind agriculture! As part of the project, students also learned about marketing and sales, chose brand names for their products and created digital advertisements that ran on our school’s TV display system.

The first run of “Beginner’s Luck Smoothies”, served in reusable mason jars, sold out in a matter of minutes! The students’ hearty “Spiced Garden Soup” debuted as a $2.00 menu item at the school Lunch Box and was also a huge hit! Encouraged by their success and the taste of their creations, the students have continued to regularly come together in a relaxed family style setting, with an atmosphere of community, to prepare and share these delicious and nourishing dishes, and distribute the recipes so others can enjoy them at home.

As part of their next steps, these students are working on collaborative inquiry projects to show how we can be stewards of healthy mind, body and planet. Along with a pod of Grade 8 students, they will present their findings at an Eco-Fair, that coincides with the school’s public open house on June 1. Their Beginner’s Luck Smoothies and Spiced Garden Soup will also be available for tasting that evening. The students encourage you to try the recipes at home, so please click on the attachments below!

Vice-Principal, W.A. Fraser Middle