Yes, We Have No Bananas

Wendell classroom bowl fruit

I can't keep them in bananas.

Raisins are popular too. Not those dried up, rock hard Sunmaid ones either - I mean the rich, sweet organic raisins Atlantic Superstore sells under the President's Choice label.

I also buy clementines and apples, but they aren't as popular. It's not hard to understand why. Some people find apples hard on the teeth. There's also, for some people, a sensitivity issue with apple skins (compounded by the fact I don't have ready access to organic, pesticide-free apples). Clementines can be messy, sticky. The citric-acid also bothers some people. But bananas are soft, sweet, easy to peel and entirely not messy. The perfect classroom snack.

Several years ago a colleague and I wrote an article, published in Literacies (pdf), about ways to support learner's health using Health Canada's health determinants. The piece details our learnings from a two-year family literacy pilot program we called "Family Learning and Health." A big chunk of this involved providing healthy learning environments, including healthy snacks. Later, I saw how well this dovetailed with Jenny Horsman's ideas about creating a warm, welcoming learning space for adult learners (e.g. "Feeding the Whole Self" pdf). Since then, I've had the chance to deepen my understanding of the connection between foods and learning, physical and mental well-being. I've added herbal teas and essential oils to my classroom snacks.

Yes, I also offer the traditional coffee and black tea. They seem to be an unavoidable part of our culture, like the dreadful smoke breaks. Still, once you believe in the power of healthy eating, there really is no going back. There's no place in my budget for cookies or doughnuts.

Which is fine with my learners. All they want to know is, do we have any bananas today?

empty fruit bowl

1 comment:

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