Middle School Madness

February 10, 2010

Amy and I just finished up back to back presentations on portion size to 200 7th graders. We had them 100 at a time though in two groups.

My GOSH the first group was out of control. It was easier to talk to kindergarteners! But the second round went much, much better and the kids even clapped and thanked us :)

We ate lunch in the cafeteria first. I made an awesome salad topped with peas and corn and a few of Kelsey’s goat cheese balls on top :)

Plus fresh grapefruit and a handful of Dr. Krackers I brought from home. More on those later!!! Yum!!

We’re now off to do our presentation once more for an after school 4H group!! Cross your fingers this one goes better!

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Teri [a foodie stays fit] February 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Good luck! Presenting to kids can be TOUGH!

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2 Jules @ eatdrinklivelearn February 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Good luck with your presentations! Yikes, 7th grade is a scary age. Especially in large groups.
Times have changed so much since I was in elementary/middle school…I wish we’d had someone giving us helpful info on things like portion size!

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3 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is February 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Good luck girl! I can’t imagine presenting to that many kids.

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4 Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle February 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

100 7th graders at once is nuts! They are probably starting to get that “I’m too cool to care” attitude the cute little kindergartners just don’t have!

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5 Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries February 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

ok my school lunches were nowhere near as delicious as yours are!

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6 Paige February 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I teach 8th graders, so I feel your pain!!!

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7 Estela @ Weekly Bite February 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Good luck with the presentations!!!

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8 Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

How funny! I teach 2 sixth grade classes, 2 seventh, and 2 eighth. My first group of 7th graders are some of the loudest and most talkative kids I’ve ever met in my life!!!

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9 Mama Pea February 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Kindergartners are easier than 7th graders?! Oh no. Let’s just freeze my girls the way they are right now!!!!

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10 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Awww, good luck!! I can only imagine how hard it is to keep the attention of 100 7th graders!

Yay for goat cheese balls!! :-)

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11 Shannon (The Daily Balance) February 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm

fingers crossed! those goat cheese balls would make anything taste delish! yummmm

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12 Brittany February 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Good luck on your presentation!!!

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13 Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com February 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Isn’t it weird how kids sometimes can be angelic, and then the same age group but just a different bunch will be mad!? They’re so unpredictable, they’re like animals :P
Have a good afternoon :)

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14 Hannah February 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I wish I had goat cheese balls to add surreptitiously to everything! Kath win, Hannah fail :P

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15 Emily February 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Middle-schoolers are insane. good luck!

that salad looks SO GOOD!

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16 Ally (Exercise and Pies) February 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm

kids are always hard to control when they are in big groups, especially 7th graders. I feel for you Kath and I hope everything goes well!

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17 Lauren @ Eater not a runner February 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm

That sounds like a scary presentation!

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18 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) February 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I won several boxes of Dr. Krackers and they were gone in DAYS!!! Sooooo surprisingly good (and super crunchy). I am down to one box but only because I hid them.

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19 Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! February 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

What a YUMMY looking salad!!! I love “gourmet” salads as I call them, basically lettuce with a TON OF TOPPINGS. =)

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20 Heather (Heather's Dish) February 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

i hope it gets better for you! one of my best friends is a high school teacher and she says it’s even worse the older they get!

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21 eggie February 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

second batch must have been the honors group. First group the sweathogs.

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22 Simply Life February 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

looks like a great lunch! love those crackers!

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23 Kelly February 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Good luck with your next presentation!! Kids can act like such goons sometimes!!

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24 Allison K February 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Middle school is such a unique age…..love working with kids!

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25 Katy ( The Balanced Foodie) February 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I was an elementary education major, and I know what you mean. All of us were elementary because NO ONE wanted to try to handle middle school! They are just CRAZY! Good luck with your last group, glad you survived the first one. ;)

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26 Chloe (Naturally Frugal) February 10, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Oh those unruly seventh graders, what an age ;)

It’s great that you’re talking about portion control. A question on that – how do you teach healthy eating without giving young minds the tools to then turn that into an eating disorder behavior? Does the school do any education on that subject?

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27 Kath February 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

We focus on health, not on weight or appearance.

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28 Johanna B February 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm

First professional job out of college – inner city school – elementary school library – library programs for kids who couldn’t read. At least I got them in small groups of 30.

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29 The Brunette February 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I think it’s great that you’re teaching seventh graders about portion control. I remember the old NEDA line: “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and you are unlikely to have a weight problem, let alone an eating disorder.” Making sure middle schoolers are clear on this is so key, as (at least in my experience) this is when unhealthy relationships with food can really kick into high gear, and once the behavior is established, it’s hard to break out of. Prevention is better than cure, and letting middle schoolers know that they can eat anything they want in moderation is such a great thing.

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30 Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. February 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Do you have a link to the program you are interning for? I tried looking them up and there are so many that all use the same words. I’m curious to learn more about it.

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31 Kath February 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

It’s through Winthrop’s accredited dietetic internship: http://www2.winthrop.edu/nutrition/

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32 Wendy February 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I subbed a couple weeks ago for a music teacher who teaches one middle school band class. I don’t know ANYTHING about music, he didn’t leave them enough work to do, and they couldn’t keep their hands off of stuff! It was a good reminder as to why I’m getting certified to teach high school. The 45 minutes I had with them seemed twice as long as the 90 minutes I had each period with his high school students!

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33 Callie February 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Kath,

I just want to say thank you to both Matt and you for responding to my email about my Great Harvest interview. I really want this job, and I hope that I have what they are looking for. Congrats on all your accomplishments and your healthy lifestyle. You are really an inspiration to so many people.

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34 Kath February 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

You’re welcome! good luck!

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35 Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 10, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Have fun and good luck. That’s a tough age, for sure.

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36 Ameena February 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

That is definitely a tough age! Sometimes I think the younger kids have a better ability to focus. Good luck!

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37 Anne P February 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Lol… I had some REALLY rowdy 7th graders when I was teaching in Prague. That’s a tough age!!

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38 Amy February 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Do you use dressing on your salads?

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39 Kath February 10, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Not usually. I like just using fun foods as flavor for the lettuce like the corn + peas + cheese.

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40 Cynthia (It All Changes) February 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Middle schoolers are so unpredictable. I could never tell if my students were going to listen or not. Always a new day.

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41 Stef February 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm

middle schoolers are a rowdy bunch. but the group dynamics can vary so much, i think some “leaders” get a group all riled up but some are just so shy and quiet! hope the 4H one goes great

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42 Kalli@Fitandfortysomething February 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Ha ha you had me laughing! I teach middle school and they ARE ALWAYS CRAZY! Good job!

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43 Katharine February 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Looks like a great lunch! Good luck with your presentation. :)

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44 Lisa @bakebikeblog February 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Great work on the presentation! I don’t think I would have had the patience ;)

oooh I LOVE adding corn to salads!! So yum!

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45 christie @ honoring health February 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Wow, good job on the presentation. I can’t imagine trying to handle that situation!

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46 Jil February 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Middle schoolers can be hard to handle!! Glad the 2nd group of kids was better!!

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47 Eileen February 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

7th grade is the most hormone-filled, rule- testing and awkward time for them- they are a mess!!! I’m sure you handled it well. I know this because I used to teach Special Ed to this age- group- now I don’t. lol

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48 Emily February 10, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I am a 7th grade teacher, so I know exactly what you are talking about. Their attention spans are ridiculously short!

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49 Kristilyn (My 29th Year) February 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Sounds like your presentations are going well! Hopefully the kids (or ‘lids’ as you wrote!) are getting what you’re talking about.

Your salad looks really yummy – as do those Dr. Kraekers!

K

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50 Alison February 10, 2010 at 5:49 pm

That’s awesome. I love the idea that you’re teaching middle schoolers to think about health and portion size. :)

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51 Cole February 10, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I can’t imagine giving a presentation to all of those kids! I hope the rest of your afternoon went well.

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52 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope February 10, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Definitely sounds like a great experience. Even though the first group was a little wild, situations like that will always arrise in the real world, so it’s great to have that experience.

That salad looks fantastic!

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53 lynn (The Actors Diet) February 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm

yay dr. krackers!!! those are some of my new fave crackers. the dude knows what he’s doing!

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54 Andrea February 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Hey Kath!
I like that you supplement your school lunches with food from home. I remember when I substitute taught and chose to buy lunch, I often felt unsatisfied or still hungry.
On another note, I know that you and Matt enjoy entertaining and I wanted to tell you about a fantastic recipe I tried that I plan on serving at a dinner party I’m having this weekend. It’s “Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce” from Giada De Laurentiis. It’s simple and absolutely delicious. I just wrote about it on my blog if you’re interested!
http://www.CanYouStayForDinner.com
Thanks!
Andrea

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55 Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Hope the second one went well! And I have to say, i’d rather talk to kindergardeners than 7th graders ANY day!

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56 GurlOnA"Diet" February 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

God that salad looks to DIE for. Yummmmm and yes, 7th graders can be out of control…my school’s grades 7-12 T_T

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57 Jenna February 10, 2010 at 9:31 pm

presenting to middle schoolers is not easy! i am sure!
jenna

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58 Tabitha February 13, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Thank you so much for presenting to our crazy students. They really did get a lot out of the presentation even the loud first group. I was glad to see them excited about healthy choices. In fact, some of the students came to me on Thursday and Friday and was talking about using their “handy” measuring tools to determine portion sizes. Thanks again for your help!

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59 Kath February 13, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Hey Tabitha!!! So glad to hear they liked it :) I’m sure we got through to a good amount :) Best of luck moving forward!

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60 Liz Derry February 14, 2010 at 6:42 am

I have some nutrition activity horror stories with middle schoolers. You are right it may be easier to teach the Kindergartners!

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