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Wrap up to the kids cooking classes

My previous blog posts on this topic are here

If you have been following them, you’ll see that I have been volunteering at my daughter’s school to work with three classes of kindergarteners and food. They call them nutritional classes, but they really are not about nutrition. It’s about introducing kids to healthy food options, like fruits and veggies, and getting them excited about incorporating these foods into their diets. It sounds simple, but some kids have little or no exposure to these foods, or tend to grab the sweets and chips all the time, because they taste good. So I wanted them to try these other foods, that also taste good and that are good for them. In our last class we took it a step further and got the kids making their own dips-an exercise they loved!

So today I went to give the kids each a binder of all the printed recipes we made and ones we talked about so they could bring these home to their parents. I also filled it with tips from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation-a partner of ours at Yum-o! Finally, the kids got a certificate with their names on it, saying that they had completed our 4-step “class.” The kids loved it and they were so cute, they presented me with an apron that they had covered with their hand prints and their names:

I was also pleased to see, when I walked the halls, that the teachers had each gotten the kids to keep thinking about these foods and what they tried and learned. Here one class made breakfast, lunch and dinner “plates” and put cut outs and drawings of foods that are “good for you” foods.

Another class made a big pot of “vegetable soup” and each child wrote out what vegetables they would like to add to the big soup pot for all to enjoy:

When I left, the kids hugged me and begged me to return, which I will.  Now that it is Spring, I am thinking we’ll plant a garden or make some refreshing snacks like smoothies or frozen fruit pops.

The point here is, I didn’t have to be any kind of expert, I didn’t have to be Rachael Ray herself, I am just a concerned mom who cared enough to volunteer some time at my child’s school.  I didn’t have to prepare much, I just had to go, bring food for them to eat, touch and smell, and be myself.   It was simple, fun, and I really think it sent a positive message.  They have so much thrown at them every day that supports the junk food message; between TV commercials, birthday parties, vending machines, school lunches, I can’t help but think that spending a little time with them in the kitchen, in the grocery store, the farmer’s market, wherever they can be near real food…it has to help.

I’ll try to post the materials I used to you can download them and bring them to your kid’s school too!

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