Learning can be fun and very tasty too! Just ask the 14 kids – ages 8 -12 enrolled in the Kid C.H.E.F. program at the Laurel Public Library.
Kid C.H.E.F., one of the Food Bank of Delaware’s Child Nutrition Education Programs, promotes low-budget, healthy eating behaviors. The series of one-hour classes offers incentives for children to try new foods while having a positive, educational experience.
Alicia Vogel, Community Nutrition Educator, visits this library’s community room once a week to teach the kids about fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. Each lesson, of course, is accompanied by a recipe the students prepare, then enjoy.
At the first class, each student receives a drawstring backpack containing a chef’s hat, an apron, a recipe book, measuring spoons and cups so they can practice what they’ve learned at home
For the lesson about vegetables, Alicia invited the students to try a new-to-them vegetable: fresh sugar snap peas. The response, as might be expected, was mixed: a few relished the green vegetable: From “I eat them all the time.” while others were ambivalent, and a couple were not so enthusiastic, stating “I didn’t like peas to begin with.”
During a recent class, students created Veggie Pita Pockets.
“Use the recipe to make sure we have all the ingredients,” Alicia said.
Alicia handed out pita pockets, then placed pre-chopped cucumber, carrots, peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes on each table. Students could start their sandwiches by spreading vegetable-flavored cream cheese on their pitas.
In addition to following a recipe, according to their tastes and choices, they also needed to measure the chopped veggies by using the provided utensils.
Then they could add the vegetables they chose.
Ms. Abby, the library’s children’s librarian, said the class has been very well received and that there’s a wait list.
“Everyone seems to like it,” she said.
Visit www.fbd.org to learn more about the Food Bank of Delaware’s Nutrition Education and Community Outreach Programs.