Farm to Protein

Farm to Protein

FROM: Melissa Axelrod | Washington South Supervisory Union, Roxbury, VT

TIME: 45 minutes

CATEGORIES: Classroom, Cafeteria, Farms + Gardens, Home, Local Purchasing, Projects + Activities, Curriculum

Why is protein important in making a healthy body? How can farm fresh eggs be a good source of protein? And where do eggs come from? This integrated classroom activity helps students learn about a key food group – protein – through a farmer visit and hands-on cooking activity.


  • Health teacher
  • Farm to School (FTS) educator
  • Farmer, with one live layer chicken
  • Chicks and Chickens book by Gail Gibbons
  • Recipe ingredients: hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, relish, salt, pepper, curry powder, mustard, carrot sticks
  • Newspaper or cutting boards, paper cups, spoons
  • Copies of the deviled egg recipe


STEP 1: LEARN & READ. The health teacher discusses the importance of protein in the diet and the different types of proteins there are. Read Chicks and Chickens and discuss the book.

STEP 2: MEET & GREET. Learn from the visiting farmer and his/her chicken. Hear what it’s like to raise and work with chickens, discuss what they eat and what goes into producing eggs, and leave time for the students to meet the visiting hen up close.

STEP 3: COOK. The FTS educator discusses safe cooking skills (wash hands, refrigeration, stove safety) and then leads the group through the recipe.  Students prepare their own deviled eggs using given ingredients and materials.

STEP 4: TASTE. FTS educator will introduce tasting etiquette. Try “Don’t Yuck My Yum” (teach students that it’s not polite to say “yuck” as it might discourage another student from liking the food) and “No Thank You Bites” (encourage students to take at least a tiny bite even if they think they might not like the food). Students will taste their own deviled eggs (with carrot sticks or other veggies for munching) and review the value of eating farm fresh eggs as a protein. All help clean up and say thank you to the visiting farmer, educators and chicken. Share copies of the recipe for students to take home.


  • Students learn about proteins and nutritional value
  • Students meet a local farmer and his/her layer chicken and learn what it takes to produce eggs and raise chickens
  • Students have the opportunity to cook in the classroom, taste a local egg, and learn cooking skills
  • Students take home the recipe so they can make deviled eggs at home and share all about protein and chickens at the kitchen table.


This program can be varied with each food group. For example, introduce whole grains by making three different kinds of pancakes and having a grain farmer visit the classroom. Hold a fruit and veggie tasting with a visiting produce farmer.

About Farm to School Recipes for Success

From garden parties to cooking contests, farm visits to STEM lessons, farm to school programs all over the Northeast are sizzling! The Farm to School Recipes for Success contest features the top ten best projects, activities, lessons and ideas chosen from dozens of “recipes” submitted by schools and programs in advance of the 2015 Farm to Institution Summit on April 7-9. This contest is sponsored by the Northeast Regional Steering Committee of the National Farm to School Network and is funded by a USDA Farm to School grant with support from the National Education Association. Visit to learn more.