C.A.T.C.H. (Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health) is a healthy-living initiative curriculum that we implement at our site. There are two components to C.A.T.C.H. One component is offering the children the opportunity to participate in moderate to vigorous physical exercise while teaching the benefits of cardiovascular games.
The second component is a nutrition focus.
We teach the children about Go, Slow, and Whoa foods. “Whoa” foods are foods we really shouldn’t eat and if we do it should be few and far between. “Slow” foods are sometimes foods, foods that are okay in moderation. “Go” foods are foods that we can eat any time without causing harm to our bodies. Usually fruits and vegetables are the best examples of “Go” foods.
Our C.A.T.C.H. nutrition activities on site are meant to teach the children simple inexpensive snack options that they can prepare and eat themselves. Today’s lesson was about a “Go” food, celery, and how it is a source of natural fiber that aids in digestion. We teamed the celery with some cream cheese, discussing that it is a “Slow” food and part of the dairy group. The children cut their celery into small pieces and then spread some cream cheese on the celery bites. We discussed that this snack also works well with peanut butter as a substitute for the cream cheese.
Justin reported, “I can’t believe it. This is actually a really easy snack for me to make all by myself. I think I will tell my mom to buy some of this celery.” Rena told us, “I loooove celery.” Lyric said, “I never knew you could eat cream cheese on celery for a snack and it could taste good.” Some children that claimed they didn’t like celery, enjoyed it once the cream cheese was added. Most of the children were just excited we trusted them with the task of cutting their own celery with a plastic knife.