Fuel Up With Iron Man’s Energy Bites

Iron Man’s Energy Bites

Background: Ironman is a highly intelligent scientist, engineer, and businessman. He developed specialized armor to give him superhuman strength and supersonic flight; he also has enhanced healing power. Ironman’s powers paired with excellent stamina allow him to defeat his enemies. While Ironman’s powers come from scientific inventions, his human strength and stamina rely heavily on the health of his heart.

Grades: K-5

Learning Goals:

  • Describe stamina
  • Explain the heart’s role in the circulatory system
  • Identify foods with healthy fats
  • Describe how to be heart-healthy
  • Learn how to make a heart-healthy energy bite

Materials:
One recipe makes 10-12 bites (tablespoon size each).  Determine amounts needed based on number children.

  • 1 ¾ cup oats
  • ¾ cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Large bowl
  • Wooden spoon or stiff spatula
  • Paper plates

Vocabulary:

  • Stamina: great physical or mental strength that allows you to continue doing something for a long time
  • Circulation: the movement of blood through the heart and around the entire body
  • Healthy fats: fats found in plants and fish

Lesson:

  1. Ironman began as a boy-genius studying science and engineering. When he was injured by enemies, he invented a device to protect his heart from getting hurt. Over time, he created armor and other tools, giving him superhuman strength, supersonic flight, and the ability to heal from injuries.
  2. Ironman needs to make sure his armor works well and is fully charged because he relies on it for strength and stamina. Stamina is great physical or mental strength that allows you to continue doing something challenging for a long time. Can you think of times you might need a lot of stamina? (running a marathon, reading a longer book)
  3. Since humans do not have superpowers, we rely on getting physical stamina from our hearts. Your heart is a special muscle and is about the size of your fist. It is important because it is in charge of circulation, which means it pumps blood through your entire body. Blood travels through tubes called blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body. We would not be able to live if our hearts did not pump our blood.
  4. Stamina comes from your heart being healthy and strong enough to pump blood extra hard for a long time. Since your heart is a muscle, there are things you can do to make it stronger. Getting enough exercise keeps your heart in good shape. If you are active at least 30 minutes a day, your heart will be stronger.
  5. Another important thing our hearts depend on is foods. Our hearts are happiest and strongest when we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables each day. Our hearts are not happy when we have foods and drinks with lots of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.
  6. It is important to be careful about the types of fats we are eating. Fats are found in many types of food. Some fats, like those found in butter and cheeseburgers, are unhealthy fats and make it hard for the blood to travel through the heart and blood vessels. That doesn’t mean we can’t eat those foods, we just need to be careful about how often we eat them. Healthy fats are found in plant foods and fish, such as avocado, nuts, and salmon. Healthy fats give your heart the nutrients it needs to stay strong.
  7. Today, we’re going to make our hearts strong and healthy like Ironman’s heart by making Ironman’s Energy Bites. These energy bites are perfect for superheroes like Iron Man and for busy kids like you because they are full of foods that contain lots of nutrients and healthy fats. They are an awesome heart-healthy snack when you are hungry!

Activity:
Children will make their own Ironman’s Heart-Healthy Energy Bites. One recipe makes 10-12 bites (tablespoon size each).

  1. Invite children to wash their hands and help set up the prep station.
  2. Measure oats and pour into bowl. Explain to students that oats are a whole grain food full of vitamins and minerals. They also contain high amounts of calcium! What other parts of the body did we learn that calcium helps during Batman and Storm weeks? (brain, bones)
  3. Measure out natural peanut butter and pour into bowl. Remind students that nuts have healthy fat, and this natural peanut butter contains healthy fats.
  4. Measure out honey and pour into bowl. Explain to children that adding a little bit of honey instead of white sugar is a great way to add sweetness to a dessert while keeping it healthy.
  5. Measure out chocolate chips at add to the bowl. Explain that chocolate is a WHOA food, but it is okay to have a little bit once in a while. This way our sweet tooth gets satisfied without us eating an entire piece of chocolate cake.
  6. Measure out dried cranberries and pour into bowl. Explain that cranberries contain lots of antioxidants, which means they keep our heart healthy and also help our bodies fight off sicknesses like colds.
  7. Once all ingredients have been added, mix to combine. If mixture feels too sticky, mix in ¼ cup extra oats.
  8. Divide the mixture evenly onto paper plates so that each student has about a tablespoon or more to create their own energy bite.
  9. Demonstrate how to roll the energy bite “dough” between both palms to form into a round ball. Invite students to do the same.
  10. Once students have shaped their energy bites invite them to take a bite. Explain that these snacks are easy to make at home and can be refrigerated and eaten cold. They can also be frozen so that they get harder and last longer!

What I Learned/Assessment:

  1. What is stamina?
  2. Why is your heart an important muscle in your body?
  3. What are three foods with healthy fats?
  4. What are two ingredients in the energy bites that contain healthy fats?

Sources:

http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/heart.html?ref=search#