|Reviewers Comments: ||This informative curriculum is filled with interesting, functional information about dry beans. Topics vary widely and range from cooking dry beans, to dry beans and food safety, to bean consumption and dishes from around the world. The bulk of the nutrition information is contained in Lesson 2, where the many nutrients found in beans are outlined including magnesium, calcium, iron, folate, fiber, and carbohydrates. The updated curriculum is based on MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The entire curriculum consists of nine lessons, available on a CD. In a separate section are lesson objectives, instructions, suggestions, notes and preparation, and a third section contains worksheets, quizzes, tests and keys. Because all sections are included in one large PDF document, for some it could be difficult to follow the different components of each lesson without a printed copy of the curriculum.
While the lessons are filled with quality information, some lessons seem longer and more in depth than others. Educators should review the curriculum carefully ahead of time to determine how much time to spend on each lesson. Lessons can stand alone as individual units or be combined. An educator may choose not to use all of the lessons included in the curriculum without compromising the integrity of the curriculum.
These lessons work well with high school age children or adult participants. Some of the information contained in the lessons can be complex and includes high level vocabulary terms. The educator should have a background in nutrition, food science or home economics.
To assist nutrition educators using the curriculum, several basic handouts are included. Many recipes are also provided, and can be prepared with students during class if kitchen equipment or a cooking lab is available. Recipes are easy to follow and contain few, common and inexpensive ingredients. They do not include nutrition information. Finally, worksheets and quizzes are included and can help the educator evaluate the participant’s progress.
Additional materials and components may be purchased to help teach the curriculum, but are not required. The curriculum refers 2 videos on beans and uses the PowerPoint presentation Beans: Agriculture to Health, which is available online.