Jack Sprat could eat no fat …
In the traditional nursery rhyme, the lyrics go like this:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean-Mother Goose
Food at Thanksgiving Dinner
When Planning your Thanksgiving dinner, it can be fun to think about what Jack and his wife could eat. The story, “Jack Sprat Learns About Food” helps children to learn about the different categories of food that we should include in our meals. To do this, we are going to use resources from myplate.gov.
If you are curious how we graduated from the “basic four food groups” to a “food pyramid” and then finally arrived at “myplate”, check out this blog for more information.
1. The Fruit Category – Jack Sprat Could Eat Fruit
The first type of food that Jack and his wife need for their Thanksgiving dinner is fruit.
Foods that are in this category include any fruit or 100% fruit juice. The fruit can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. Most people will not have fruit juice for dinner. But, a fruit salad makes a colorful addition at a Thanksgiving meal.
2. The Vegetable Category – Jack Sprat Could Eat Vegetables
The second category that Jack and his wife could eat is vegetables. This category includes any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice. Vegetables can be raw or cooked, canned, frozen, or picked fresh. They can be cut up, mashed, or whole. All vegetables are not the same, however. You can put them in sub-categories of:
- Red and orange
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Other vegetables
For examples in each group and serving amounts for specific age groups go here. And, because we are talking about a Thanksgiving meal, it is ok to go overboard and try to serve a vegetable from each sub-category. Jack Sprat might include a green bean casserole, a sweet potato casserole, broccoli, corn, and Brussel sprouts.
3. The Grains Category
The third category is grains. This category includes wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, and barley. The foods in this category are divided into 2 subgroups: Whole Grains and Refined Grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel. Refined grains are crushed to create a finer texture and longer shelf life. But, refining the grain removes fiber, iron, and some vitamins. A refined grain is white flour, corn grits, white bread, and white rice. You can, however, find refined grains that are enriched with certain vitamins and iron.
Jack could include dinner rolls, bread, or pasta at his Thanksgiving meal so he and his wife would have an adequate serving of food from the grains category.
4. The Dairy Category
The dairy category provides us with calcium. It includes products made from milk. Examples are milk itself, ice-cream, yogurt, and cheese. Lactose-free milk and fortified soy milk are good options too. Plant based milk like almond or oat milk, is not a part of the dairy category. However, these “milks” can be a good source of calcium. Foods that are made from milk, but have little calcium and a high fat content, such as cream cheese, sour cream, cream, and butter would not be good choices of food in this category.
Jack’s Thanksgiving dinner might include Mac and Cheese, and a large glass of milk. I am sure he’d enjoy a scoop of ice-cream on his pumpkin pie too.
5. The Protein Category
The protein category might be little tricky for Jack and his wife. We tend to think of protein as something we get from meat. Back in the day we referred to this category as “the meat group.”
Seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, and lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products are all a part of the Protein Category. Even though beans, peas, and lentils are also part of the Vegetable Category. And just like Jack Sprat, (who ate no fat) our meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat too. But remember Jack;s wife? She would not eat even lean meat. We might, therefore, assume that Jack’s wife was a vegetarian (a person that does not eat meat). In the little book, “Jack Sprat Learns About Food“, Jack helps his wife by presenting her with nuts and beans, so she will have a source of protein. Vegetarian options in the Protein Category include beans, peas, and lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
It is a good idea to have some vegetarian options available at your Thanksgiving dinner. You can find a lot a vegetarian recipes on line.
Nursery Rhyme Jack Sprat
If you searching for easy-to-read text that can help your preschoolers, kindergarteners, or first-grade students learn about good nutrition, you will want the creative teaching resource: “Jack Sprat Learns About Food.” Dawn Stephens has masterfully created a resource that contains new lyrics to the Mother Goose rhyme of Jack Sprat. Your students will memorize the text with ease and then be able to track the words in the book. Therefore, this printable guided reading book and PowerPoint eBook Show will help students learn to read too.
This resource is available Teachers Pay Teachers.
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