The Body Engine*
CONCEPT: What is PKU?
Read a story about a car that runs out of gas. The children learn that people need fuel to run, just like cars need fuel to run (but a different kind of fuel). Learn about energy and discuss the types of foods that are the best fuel for people with PKU.
After completing this activity, children will be able to:
- identify at least one reason why we need food
- state that a person with PKU stays healthy by drinking their formula and eating foods low in protein and phenylalanine
- state that food gives us energy to do many activities
Introduce the Energy character and talk about what the children think energy is and where it comes from.
Read the story The Body Engine, have the children take turns reading.
Discuss the story with the children, with questions such as:
- Why did the car stop?
- What makes the car go?
- What makes you go?
- Do you need food every day?
- What special food do you need?
- Can you eat just once and have enough fuel for always?
- What kind of food fuel is the best for you? (formula and low-phe foods)
- What kind of food fuel did you have today?
- How do you feel when you don't eat?
- What will happen to your body in you do no eat the right foods?
Distribute the activity sheets "Energy for Your Activities" and "Energy for Living". Help the children work through them, as needed. Discuss the answers.
- Energy Fact Sheet (for the leader)
- Energy character
- The Body Engine Story
- Activity: Energy For Your Activities
- Energy For Living worksheet
- Pencils or crayons
- Glue or paste
*This activity is adapted from NET Nutrition Education, Choose Well, Be Well: A Curriculum Guide for Preschool and Kindergarten, California State Department of Education, 1982.