Fresh Food: The Best Source of Vitamins!
This week the 4th graders learned about the relationship between nutrition and fresh/processed foods. Students found that vitamins and minerals are nutrients that humans need in order to live and that we get these from the foods we eat. We specifically looked at Vitamin C and how it impacts the body. Most people know that citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C, but the students were surprised to learn that bell peppers, kiwi, and even vegetables such as kale have as much, if not MORE! This vitamin helps heal wounds, fight off sickness, and produce collagen for our body.
Because the human body can only hold a limited amount of vitamins, we have to moderate what we eat to avoid ailments (such as kidney stones with an excess of Vitamin C). We briefly touched on some of the problems vitamin C-deficient diets can cause, including scurvy, the bane of early sailors and others who had no access to fresh food for months at a time.
For the practical lab, the students tested the relative amounts of vitamin C in three types of orange juice: pasteurized (sold in a bottle), frozen, and fresh. Students used a method called titration to determine which type of juice had the highest Vitamin C content. Ask them to tell you about the results of their experiment! The students really enjoyed performing the experiment and learning about healthy foods.