|Reviewers Comments: ||Food $ense Fruits is a series of monthly lessons designed to familiarize participants with specific fruits. Each lesson and accompanying handout provides basic information on a seasonal fruit. There are two lessons covering separate fruits each month, except for October where only one lesson on apples is available.
Each lesson has the same basic structure and components. Lessons first provide educators with information on objectives, required materials, optional supplemental materials, preparation required, teaching tips and ideas, and suggested lesson times. They then contain detailed instructions for teaching and are all ordered similarly: they start with an introduction, move on to cover each of the objectives separately, and end with an conclusion. Instructions for each section are detailed, including prompts for what educators should say and do. Lessons are designed to be interactive and encourage participation; some involve group activities.
Educators should pay attention to the required materials and preparation information to ensure they have the necessary resources and time for each lesson. Many lessons include demonstrations, for example, how to zest a lemon, and all lessons involve preparing multiple recipes. Many lessons even require that recipe components, or entire recipes, be prepared in advance (e.g., chopping fruits or cooking chicken). Overall, these recipes require many different utensils and appliances be available for cooking, for example, an oven or stove. Lessons could easily be modified to exclude, or include only select recipes. Additionally recipes do not provide guidance on proper cooking temperatures. The handouts that accompany each lesson contain copies of the recipes as well as relevant information about the fruit. Recipes do not include Nutrition Facts labels.
Educators can use these lessons to introduce fruits to participants as well as provide them with simple ways to incorporate them into family meals. These lessons could be effective as a stand-alone tool. They could also be combined with other Food $ense lessons, or even modified to fit within other nutrition education lessons, including those based on the MyPlate food groups.