Stand Up Tall for Healthy Food

Scripture: 1 Samuel 17

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of David and Goliath.
  • Students will learn they types of foods that contain calcium and vitamin D because these minerals build healthy bones.
  • Students will learn how to make healthy food choices to grow strong and tall.

Guiding Question:

  • How can we make good food choices so that we can grow tall and strong?

Materials: paper, markers, pens

Procedure: Review the story of David and Goliath focusing on Goliath’s unusual height. Also talk about how strong David to be able to kill a lion and take care of sheep. Discuss how diet can impact how tall someone grows in spite of their genes. Display different types of foods or pictures of foods. Discuss how the various foods can contribute or inhibit healthy growth. Discuss that having healthy body structure is more than just height. Bone density is important too.
Divide students into small groups. Have them design a restaurant menu featuring foods to help kids grow. Students should consider what kids would want to buy and eat. Have students vote on the healthiest and most appealing final menu.

Examples of vitamins, minerals and the foods that contain them:
Vitamin D: sunshine (best source though not a food), tuna, salmon, eggs (including yolk),
Calcium: broccoli, salad/spinach, edamame, almonds, tahini, oranges

(Interesting side note for teachers: Cow’s milk is high in protein and calcium and many doctors suggest drinking it. Other doctors disagree. Cow’s milk has lots of calcium, but many doctors claim that it is not in a form that the body can use. Calcium has to be pulled from our bones in order to help process the cow’s milk that we drink. Cow milk makes the body more acidic. Since calcium neutralizes the acidity, the body pulls it from your bones. This is why some people who grew up drinking lots of milk, often have unhealthy bones and osteoporosis. Teach this at your own discretion.)

Additional Questions:

  • What organs and body systems need to be strong for our body structures to grow healthy?
  • What can we do besides eat healthy foods to help up grow strong and have good bones?
  • What kinds of foods do you think David would have eaten to be strong?

Supplemental Activity: Play the following game to better understand how calcium and vitamin D relate to each other. (It is similar to musical chairs.) You will need music, strips of fabric, and a circular boundary.

Assign students specific roles. Provide a different color shirt, fabric or bandana for students to wear to designate what their role is.
Mark a circular boundary to be the “Body”. Divide the students in half. One half with be D. The other half will be Calcium.
The goal of the game is to get vitamin D into the body. Vitamin D cannot go to the body unless it is with Calcium. Assign a gate keeper to make sure that neither D nor Calcium goes into the body alone.

Tell students this story: The body needs Calcium, but Calcium is too afraid and does not want to go alone. Calcium refuses to go without Vitamin D. Each vitamin D needs to pair up with Calcium in order to get into the body. You will run around and dance as long as the music is playing. When the music stops, find a partner and run to the body as fast as you can. The last pair not in the body is out OR the last student who does not have a partner is out. Then release the students again from the “Body.” Continue playing rounds until there are only two students left.

Repeat this game with a slight modification. Have more Calcium students than D students. At the end discuss the importance of D and Calcium being together. What happens if there is lots of Calcium but not enough D? How should this knowledge effect your diet?