Monday, January 28, 2013

Antioxidant Unit {Free Printable}

Has anyone else noticed how extremely difficult it is to find kid friendly information on antioxidants? 

Our Nature and Science Museum has this really great "Superfood Heroes" presentation where they learn all about evil free radicals and the superfood heroes that fight them. My kids love it. We've seen it like three times. 

But even there, when I asked if they had any more resources, I got a blank stare. Maybe I didn't ask the right person, who knows. 

Anyway, I figured I should just put together my own unit on them. A kid friendly one that didn't involve weight loss inspiration or essays on anti-aging. 

(click on the picture for the download)

I did have a bit of a hard time sorting through the information and still leaving it accurate. Some of the antioxidants we saw in the presentation were technically phytonutrients which are really a subsection of antioxidants.... I didn't want to group them together but I felt they needed to be identified correctly.

Anyway, I think I'm making it more complicated than it needs to be....

There are three sections of three part cards you can use as you like- one is the free radicals. The second are antioxidants. The third are phytonutrients and the foods they are found in. You can easily just print the page with the food and it's common name along with the page on the free radicals and be set!

There is also a control sheet in case the cards get mixed up. 

Next is a scavenger hunt. You can do this in your house or it would be a really fun field trip to the store. You wouldn't have to buy everything on it but it would make a great, super healthy, grocery list. 

Finally is a mini book of terms that should help with understanding what free radicals and antioxidants actually are. This is geared towards the 3-8 year old range. My kids seemed to simply accept that a free radical is bad without asking more questions. I was thankful- the reason why is a little more complicated and I don't plan on introducing atoms and molecules anytime soon.

I also put together a super simple chart for the kids to check off what colors of food they ate for the day. I'll use it with both my 5 year old and my 21 month old. Laminate and use a dry erase marker for everyday use. 

Here are some other resources to help your curious ones:
 Discovery Healthy Foods- adult oriented but really great pics.
Information for Kids on Antioxidants- for adults, but helpful

I really wish I could find a good kid friendly book on this topic. If you know of any, can you pass it along?  Maybe I'll stretch my creative side a bit and write one....

*I updated at least one error but there may be more, let me know if you find one. 

We are starting some work on the Circulatory System- look for that up next week!

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