The Arts & Imagination cooking classes at Stepney Elementary have been wonderful. Today, I noticed the kids are getting into a routine and are more comfortable with what they need to do, how to work in teams and they have done a great job at “taking over the kitchen”.
These kids and all of my students at the library and other events, really should be proud of everything that they are learning. I hope they continue to enjoy the variety of food the world has to offer and that they are no longer afraid to try something new. We aren’t making pizza or macaroni and cheese in this class, we are making “real” food, from artichoke dip to breakfast burritos to black bean burgers. They are eating well in this class and the proof is in the leftovers (there aren’t any)!
Not to say that pizza and macaroni and cheese isn’t real food, but I am trying to show them there is so much great food out there, so much that is both nutritious and delicious. There is a lot of variety out there and they should know it, they should see it, they should cook it, they should EAT IT!
Our theme for this six week semester is NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS. Last Tuesday, we made Nutritious and Delicious Starters (Appetizers). The kids made Chicken Empanadas (from scratch), Spinach and Cheese Fillo Shells and Artichoke Dip. Today, we had Nutritious and Delicious Breakfast and made Apple Pancakes, Pumpkin Muffins and Breakfast Burritos with homemade, fresh salsa.
What I find so fulfilling from these classes, is that the kids start by saying things like “I don’t like artichokes” or “I can’t eat that because I don’t like sour cream and there’s sour cream in that” or “Do I have to eat that”. Well, as any of my students will tell you, they have to eat everything, at least give it a bite or two and you know what, they are always pleasantly surprised. We rate all the food we eat and I hear a lot of fives! (5 is exceptional). Let me repeat, I do not cook any of these recipes. I simply test them on my own at home, write them down and get the pantry filled with all the items they need for the recipe. They do it all! I am there to answer questions, guide them along the process, correct their mistakes when they think TBLSP means teaspoon, etc. It’s a lot of fun. They really do take charge and that’s what’s so cool about this whole experience.
Until next week… when we cook up Nutritious and Delicious Lunch! Your kids can also benefit from our cooking classes. Sign up today for your “Learning to cook with Food Jules cooking class”. We offer after school programs, scout workshops, birthday parties and other cooking events. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, sorry for the lack of pictures. I know the posts would look a lot nicer with some photos, but I just don’t have the time. Besides, I am a terrible photographer!
SIDE NOTE: I found this in an article I was reading and thought I should share. Let me know your thoughts on this subject.
“The idea of kids cooking in the kitchen may terrify adults with concern about those sharp knives, potential food poisoning, and the resulting messy kitchen. But, there are simple and easy recipes for kids which they can accomplish without causing a big fuss. According to WebMD, cooking with kids has many benefits, from encouraging picky eaters to helping children learn about healthy food choices.
Eating a balanced meal is an important part of helping children develop strong bodies and healthy minds. Having family dinners is one way to encourage kids to make good food decisions and for adults to model positive eating habits. By cooking a meal with kids from start to finish they use basic math skills, hone their fine-motor skills, and learn about how to create a complete and nourishing feast.”