Nutrition/cooking education. Make no mistake: it works.
It’s said all the time but I’m here with hard evidence to prove it: When you grow and cook food with kids at school, in a fun, interactive way, they are more likely to try new foods and want to cook at home.
As mentioned in the last post, we made ratatouille in our garden/kitchen class. I also sent home a letter with the recipe to each family and encouraged the kids to teach their parents the recipe. I said, “If you do make ratatouille at home, please send me a picture.” The very next day I started receiving these:
Once I received the picture, I visited the student’s class with congratulations, a few questions about his/her cooking experience at home, and an invitation to have lunch in the garden that day with a friend. I’m thrilled that at our school “lunch in the garden” is a motivating reward, as it is sometimes hard to think of incentives that aren’t sweets/snacks or little throwaway objects.
None of this is lost on you, dear readers, but allow me to list the levels of goodness here:
-Students have a positive experience with a certain food at school and bring that excitement home.
-Students show off newly acquired skills to parents, and we all know that re-teaching is good learning.
-Families learn new recipes—in this case, one that is vegetarian, seasonal, adaptable and affordable.
-Students are congratulated and rewarded in front of their peers for extending their learning after school.
Many thanks to Wynola Flats for sourcing these delicious vegetables and ordering what I needed. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to stop in yesterday for more ingredients and have Stacy say, “People have been coming in, buying ingredients for ratatouille….”