Batman's Brain Smoothie

Title of Lesson: Batman’s Brain Smoothie

Background: Batman is one of the most well-known superheroes, but he actually does not have true superpowers. He is a regular person who fights crime and has to use his brain power to outsmart criminals and enemies. The brain is one of the most important parts of our bodies as well, so we need to eat foods that keep the brain strong and healthy.

Grades: K-5

Learning Goals:

  • Students will describe how the brain is the control center of the body.
  • Students will explain how to keep the brain strong and healthy.
  • Students will identify vitamins and minerals that are good for brain health.
  • Students will identify fruits as an important part of our diet.
  • Students will learn how to make a healthy fruit smoothie.

Materials:
One recipe makes 12 ounces of smoothie. Determine amounts needed based on number of students.

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1-2 cups Pineapple canned in its own juice or in water
  •  1 cup Mangos
  •  1 Tbsp Lemon or Lime Juice
  •  ½ cup Milk
  •  ½ cup Water
  •  Blender
  • Cups

Vocabulary:

  • Cerebrum: the largest part of the brain that allows us to think and control our voluntary muscles
  • Nerves: part of the body that delivers messages back and forth between the brain and the body
  • Vitamins and Minerals: substances found in foods that help the body grow, develop, and stay healthy

Lesson:

  1. Batman’s real name is Bruce Wayne. He is a normal citizen of Gotham who has learned the skills necessary to help him fight crime. He expertly uses his tools and training to outsmart his enemies. Since he does not have actual superpowers, he must rely on his brain power. He has to think quickly and carefully to stay a step ahead of criminals.
  2. Although it would be great if we all had superpowers, we also have to rely on our brain power. Why do you think our brains are so important? Our brains are important because they are like the computers that control our bodies. There are many different parts of the brain. One part of the brain is called the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the biggest part of the brain. It stores our memories, helps us think and solve problems, and allows us to control our muscles. Without your cerebrum, you wouldn’t be able to play a video game, solve a math problem, or throw a football. Other parts of the brain tell your lungs to breathe and your heart to beat without you having to think about it. Your brain also controls nerves. Nerves are like wires that run all over your body to send messages to and from the brain. Nerves let your brain know when you are touching something.
  3. Since our brains are so important, we need to keep them strong and healthy. Exercise, sleep, and learning new things all help our brains stay sharp, but that’s not all Batman does to stay smart. Just like Batman does, it is also important to choose healthy foods to feed our brains. Brain foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals. What do you think vitamins and minerals are? Vitamins and minerals are substances found in foods and help our bodies grow, develop, and stay healthy. Calcium and potassium are two minerals that are excellent for brain health. Calcium is most often found in dairy and leafy greens. Can you think of any foods or drinks that have a lot of calcium? Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all good sources of calcium.
  4. What other brain foods do you think Batman eats to get his potassium? Well, think about how he dresses (like a bat). Just like he gets his fashion sense from bats, he also gets inspiration about what to eat from one type of bat – the fruit bat! Fruit bats eat any type of fruit, including bananas and mangos. (Show fruit from the smoothie) Bananas and mangos are excellent sources of potassium to feed the brain. We are kind of like the fruit bat because fruit is an important part of our diet, too! 
  5. Today we are going to make a brain food smoothie that both Batman and the fruit bat would love! This smoothie has a lot of potassium from mangos and bananas and calcium from the milk. It also has pineapple, lemon/lime juice, and water.

Activity:

  1. Students will make their own Batman’s Brain Smoothie. See similar Tropical Treat recipe attached for nutrition details.
  2. Ask children to wash their hands and help set up cooking station. Distribute plastic knives and plates or cutting boards.
  3. Explain that some fruits like berries and apples can be eaten whole but others have a protective “cover” or peel that needs to be removed like the banana and mango. Cut the sides of the mango away from the seed and then cut fruit into quarters. Demonstrate to children how to cut the mango quarters into cubes and cut away from peel. Cut up mangos.
  4. Demonstrate how to cut the banana into small rounds and ask the children to help cut up the bananas so they are easier to blend. Ask children what mineral is found in mangos and bananas (potassium).
  5. Add banana and mango pieces to blender.
  6. Add pineapple to the blender. Explain that although fresh fruit is best sometimes it is hard to find fruits like pineapple in the store because they don’t grow in or near Texas. Explain that canned fruits are still a good source of healthy food, but we have to be careful that they are canned in their own juice or in water instead of syrup, which has added sugar that is unhealthy.
  7. Measure lemon or lime juice and add to the blender.
  8. Measure milk and water and add to the blender.
  9. Puree until smooth, adding additional water if needed to make mixture thinner.
  10. Serve smoothie in cups to children. Review with the children that this smoothie is great as a healthy drink because the fruits inside feed their brains and give them power to learn and grow just like Batman!

What I Learned/Assessment:

  1. How is your brain like a computer controlling your body?
  2. How can you keep your brain strong and healthy?
  3. What are two minerals that are found in some brain foods?
  4. What is one type of food some bats love, which we should eat a lot of, too?
  5. What fruits in the smoothie did you like best?
  6. With what other fruits would you choose to make a smoothie at home?

Sources:

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