After school healthy program

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by shroomgirl, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I have been asked to develop an afterschool healthy cooking program for an inner city school ....4th and 5th graders...8 week series with outside chefs/farmers etc coming through for demos and talks. The pendulum is swinging...let us see how far it goes...there are gardens available in the city funded by gateway greening. If you know of or have participated in anything like this Id love to hear about your experiences. It would be great to have spread throughout the country.
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    This sounds wonderful! I was mulling the idea of starting a cooking club at my middle school, but funding is zilch for new projects, and I don't have the time just now to seek private sponsors. As usual, shroomgirl, you are on the cutting edge, so I'm very interested in knowing how it turns out.
     
  3. bandregg

    bandregg

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    Have you contacted the Slow Food people? This is right up their alley. They have both a health school lunch program and a school garden program, I believe.
     
  4. campchef

    campchef

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    Check with your local ACF chapter. The ACF has two programs for kids cooking, and both are very good. I have used them as they are, but have had more luck adapting them to the season and the skill/age level of the kids involved. Be careful, once you start teaching kids, you can never stop.
     
  5. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I am active with Slow Foods and am familiar with their programs....that is the desired end goal.... I am also aware of ACF programs...they use food from fod banks for inner city kids....I want these kids to be able to replicatewhat we make otherwisewhy be there....but I am not into dead food either...soooo...my modos operunti is to include chefs and farmers from the community and use as much local produce as possible. If the kids raise it more the better. Thanks guys.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    So this week has been interesting, the head of USDA nutrition asked me to read a grant on childhood obesity and school gardens. It was an e-mail I could not believe was meant fo rme....teh signitures all had PHD RD after the names......I e-mailed back and said HEY DO YOU REALIZE IM NOT A registered dietician?
    Anyway they said yeah they knew who I was and would I review the grant....pretty cool, cus the USDA has got mega buck grants and that is a source I wanted explored for the program I am working on.
    I am eating lunch iwht the head of Operation Food search who is a vegetarian and an RD that I have worked with before....she is doing goofy shtuff ...peanut butter oatmeal cookies????She took the group to Shop and Save for a tour....I asked why they did not go to the garden in their area or shop at Soulard Farmers Market....I hope to get her on board and using fresh produce.
    I have contacted people around the USA on programs they know about. apparently Hawaii has something cool happening with Roy Yamagouchi....my dear farmer friend said it sounds like a field trip was in the forecast.
    What I asleo discovered was that the school I am working with has applied for a garden ...the third grade teaching team. Pretty cool. This project is further along than I had imagined.
     
  7. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Shroom, you are on the leading edge for sure! With a strong vision as you have, and the persistence to carry it off, we'll be looking for your name in the mainstream national or even international press any time now!
     
  8. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Thanks Mezz, but Cal and Santa Fe have been doing this for years, there is a great schoo system in Ala. that Marion Burros wrote about where the parents (blue collar, took a tax increase to have fresh local food in their cafeteria. I sat with the Operation Food Search coordinator today and the brochures she had where paid for big time by Tyson. She is seeing the light on buying local and having hte kids eat fresh but the funding isnt bent that way....I said this is something chefs would jump on to fundraise for.I said when was the last time you ate in a public school cafeteria...it is GROSS. I have ranted on this site for years about the brown and neon food. The coke machines in the ready to supply our babies with sugar carbonation...comeon how bad does it have to get? I feel so strongly that the folks that make decisions (us/parents/tax payers/statesmen?RDS) eat what we are feeding our children. The children of our communities.
     
  9. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Just finished the fifth class....13 children that are 4th and5th grade at an innercity school/community center....
    week one: waldorf salad and green salad with honey mustard dressing....most had not had anything but ranch dressing.
    They had not seen yellow or pear shaped tomatoes....none could name a variety of apple...(caramel does not count)

    Week two: rice stick salad with peanut butter ginger sauce and a ton of veg.....bad choice of rice stick I should have used ramen or spaghetti noodles. The kids did not recognize fresh ginger or garlic.....

    Week three: sweet potato muffins...huge hit
    Week four: omelets with a guest chef, everyone made 2 omelets.
    Week five: quesa dillas with beans, cheese and beef chunks, we made salsa, guacamole and cut up all kinds of toppings.

    I finished reviewing the grant, was interesting....I did a ton of networking and research on it.

    So....GARLIC....I am starting a thread about it.
     
  10. foodbridge

    foodbridge

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    Hello shroomgirl
    New to the site. I have never ever participated in an internet based discussion before. Your adventures made me recall wonderful timnes and join forces with you. I have been a professional chef for over 20 years and raised a daughter in Chicago, as a single parent. Owned a Mediterannean Tapas restaurant from 93-97, where my daughter would hang out after grade school with her friends, before our dinner service got under way. I snuck the best food information and experience into her/thier lives every "secret squirrel"' chance I had without them realizing the healthful influence wanted to achieve. If my methods and or memories of what appealed to them can help or interests you, let me know and I will send them periodically, as my memory recalls.
    Examples:
    When asked to by her school to volunteer time as a parent, I agreed to a category listed as enhancing real life skills, incorporated their popular "hero" (He-man and Sheera in those days) as an entity to relay nutrition information they might try to emulate. Without using the "N" word, I would casually talk about Vitamin C, for instance, and point them out from a easily read list of particular foods I was featuring, with "strength" values, next to fruit and vegetables listed alphabetically for them to color in/ and keep. I would ask which fruits they thought He-man ate to be so strong accomplish what is best for all????, while they were praticing on the strawberries I had given them, to turn into bunnies or fans, which most happily gobbled up and a few tried to take home on the bus, as a gift to Mom.
    As I correlated cartoon/hero figures they related to and achieved great questions and participation, I kept thinking of the phrase "secret squirrel", a character I watched as a kid thinking the name was,"cool" in a, get the job done in the best"sort of way.

    Slumber parties.
    Customized "ice cream" sundaes for eveyone?
    And how! Taught them to make the frozen treat themselves with non-electric ice cream makers, using yoghurt, instead. of cream initially. Even made Italian ice a few times and highlight was - comparing color left on tongues from cherry and blueberry, with concentrated fruit juice added.

    Popcorn. Showed them different types amarranth, relayed a bit of it's history incorporating the gorier parts, re-naming it "kitten sized popcorn". They were thrilled! and although I had alot of serious sweeping to do afterward, making cookies from amarranth flakes or crunchy sprinkles to top thier fruit skewer with, became as standard as chips & soda at other parties. Even made holiday ornaments with left -overs. The energy I used to have. Makes me think about taking nap right now...

    Speaking of soda: I would buy bright/unusual/goofy plastic drinking vessles, offered in discount stores, usually 4/$1 (still have some I use for wee amounts of dips or salsas) and set up an area for them make their own favorite.
    Club soda, real cranberry, pineapple, black currant, mango, etc., juice, sliced seasonal fruit (always orange wheels), pinealpple chunks, kiwi, strawberry, carambola, etc.,... and fancy parasol or animal pics to adorn/hold fruit in the non- soda pop coke/pepsi/whatever drink (used about one box per year in hey-day). Portable baby bathtub to was used to hold ice including crazy/fun/left over napkins.
    I DO NOT come from a monied or pretentious background.
    Re-reading this message almost makes me sound as if I might have, or perhaps just be fussy. Nope. Wanted a good time to be had by all in todays terms, while adding a positive influence that could carry over.

    I admire the information passed back and forth as to what you are participating in and leading. Many thanks to mentors like you.
    Necessity is sometimes the Mother of invention. Once in awhile, I run into one of those former malieable short-ones from my daughters childhood, who's attention I had for a moment, and get a big hug or happy handshake. They recall me as a "Cool Mom - we thought you were a cop", while I recall me as a secret squirrel.

    All Best to You!

    :D
     
  11. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Thank you for your input!!! I mad ethe fruit juice sodas also when my kids were little. One of my favorite drinks was frozen strawberries blended with OJ. I made the kabobs with yogurt dip also. I would love to read additional healthy treats you prepared for your daughter.