|Reviewers Comments: ||Food $ense Vegetables is a series of monthly lessons designed to familiarize participants with different vegetables. Each lesson and accompanying handout provides basic information on a seasonal vegetable, or group of vegetables. Each month, there are two one-hour lessons covering separate vegetables, except for February where only one lesson on root vegetables is available.
Lessons all have the same basic structure and components. They 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 a conclusion. 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, the proper way to chop a vegetable, and all lessons involve preparing multiple recipes. Some recipes require that components, or the entire recipes, be prepared in advance. Overall, these recipes require many different utensils and appliances be available for cooking, for example, an oven or stove. Lessons could be easily modified to exclude, or include only select recipes. Additionally, recipes do not provide guidance on internal cooking temperatures. Educators should consider informing participants of the guidance on proper cooking temperatures. Handouts contain relevant information on the vegetable and copies of recipes for the participants. Recipes do not come with Nutrition Facts labels.
Eight lessons have video clips available that feature overviews of specific vegetables and demonstrate how to select and prepare the vegetables by making dishes with them. Each 15-20 minute video is of good quality, except for the tomato video which is very blurry. Educators could include these videos with the lessons, which would be effective especially if recipes are not prepared with participants. Videos could also be a tool for educators to increase their knowledge before teaching the classes.
Food $ense Vegetables lessons can be used as a way to introduce different vegetables to participants as well as provide them with simple ways to cook with them. These lessons could be effective as a stand-alone tool, or could 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.