Pitching New Food in the Lunchroom!?

 

Learning at home means that students have lots of opportunities to learn more about the nutrition habits they and their families have. After learning about the big ideas from the new Canada Food Guide, how to use an Eat Well Plate to create and analyze healthy meals and researching nutritional information for specific foods, students demonstrated their learning by imagining that they were pitching a recommendation for a new food provided in the YMCA lunch room.

The products of this project ranged from posters, to slide shows and written reports; with one student even being featured in a corporate Instagram post on pizza-dough-making!

Team Unbreakable Virtual 5K!

Students participate in last years Team Unbreakable running event
Photo from last years Team Unbreakable event

Well, while this whole pandemic has put a damper on our training it can’t keep determined athletes from keeping fit! The YMCA Academy’s Healthy Active Living classes hit the ground running when the lock down struck and spent the first couple of weeks researching the best ways to keep active during this predicament and constructing plans to keep fit at home. And If I have been led to believe correctly, all of my Healthy Active Living students have been doing just that.

Now it’s time to put our money where our feet are and cap off the year by taking on the Team Unbreakable Virtual 5K. This year, we won’t be gathering in a large group to complete the distance, but rather participants can run or walk 5 km on their own, at their leisure, at any point between 9 am and 9 pm on Father’s Day, Sunday June 21st. It happens to be the perfect way to celebrate your dad! If you feel like joining the team please check out the Team Fundraising Page of YMCA Academy where you can sign up.

I hope to see you all out there! … virtually, of course.

Wellness Wednesday: Fitness Club

 

Each Wellness Wednesday at 11, students join the Fitness Club video call ready to move, sweat and be well.

Fitness Club (also affectionately referred to as the Temple of Swole – a far-cry from the Fortress of Swole-itude frequented by Superman) provides an opportunity for students and staff alike to meet up online for some group fitness goodness. After joining the video chat, teachers Reinman and John guide participants through a whole-body exercise routine designed to improve mobility, endurance and strength.

Each session has its own unique exercise routine, which emphasizes proper workout structure and technique while keeping things fresh and fun. Participants begin with a dynamic warm-up to ready their bodies for the specific exercises in that session. Next, the crew ramps things up with technique instruction and a high intensity interval training (HIIT) set of 10 calisthenics exercises. The group closes the session with a cool-down that aids recovery for whatever the future holds (whether it’s tomorrow’s exercise session or Cooking Club).

Academy Hosts Workshop About Healthy Eating

students in classroom participating in presentation

Last Friday, the Academy’s Grade 11/12 Workplace English class and Food and Nutrition class took part in a workshop about healthy eating, and about how millions and millions of animals are being killed for the food that we eat. Tracey Timmins from the Educated Choices Program explained what we consider food and what we do not consider food, and the health risks of food.

Tracy talked about how animals were slowly being led into slaughterhouses to be killed for food. She also talked about how killing animals can have major impacts on the environment. “It’s important to learn where food comes from,” says Russell, an English student. “It made me feel more motivated to make changes in my daily life to save the environment.”

It is really important to learn these things so you know where your food is coming from. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat meat. You can have a balance with meat and things that are not meat. If you feel like you don’t want to eat meat, that is your choice, but this is something that you should know about. “I feel like we organized this, because students everywhere need to learn about animals, and why we need food every day to survive,” says Lucas, another English student. This presentation is helpful, because it teaches everyone how to live a better life and feel happier.

The presentation happened so that we could learn how to eat healthy and save the environment. It’s important because the presenter talked about how we should eat less meat and more healthy foods. “I think this topic is very important because we are killing animals for our food and it is also having an impact on our diet and health,” says Russell.

“I felt sad and angry at the same time,” says Lucas. “I felt like I had to take action by following Tracy’s presentation facts and details of making the world a better place.”

A student named Cole concluded, “The presentation impacted me, because even though animals do get killed for food, it’s wrong to just take a bunch of animals into a horrible place and just murder them. I also think that we should take a stand. Animals are nature. Without nature, there won’t be anymore animals to take care of. I realized when I was watching this presentation that I can choose to eat less meat and more plant-based things.”

– By the Grade 11/12 Workplace English class

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Dogs with superpowers, a ketchup race, amazing animals, delicious food, and a whole lot of fun: Academy students from four very different classes came together to experience all this, and much more, earlier this month at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

The Royal is a longstanding Toronto tradition, and a fantastic place to extend learning through experiential opportunities that activate (literally) all the senses. This also means that it’s perfect for cross-curricular learning; at a seminar hosted by faculty and students from the Centre for Food at Durham College, we learned about how ketchup is made — including investigations of chemical processes, food science and safety standards, career connections, and sensory feedback. It was a supercharged lesson for our students from the Food and Nutrition, Grade 10 Science, Career Studies, and Grade 11 English classes.

At the Academy, we’re constantly working to find ways large and small to break down the walls of the classroom and provide authentic learning experiences. And when we can combine that with free cheese samples and a pack of adorable Superdogs? Well, that’s absolute perfection.

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!