Sunday, February 23, 2014

The CookShop Classroom

Oni mixing the broccoli and cauliflower
confetti salad
Our latest school partnership is with the Food Bank for New York City and their CookShop program for nutrition education.

The program has me feeling a tinge guilty for the many years I spent promoting unhealthy food choices in Kindergarten Cafe.


Our preschool through second grade classes have incorporated CookShop lessons into the curriculum. CookShop "teaches cooking skills and nutrition information and fosters enthusiasm for fresh, affordable fruits, vegetables and other whole foods".

Their philosophy, as I understand it, is that food is fuel.  Unhealthy sugary foods generally provide a short rush of energy with an inevitable crash. Healthy foods keep the mind and body going.  This sustained energy allows children to focus on their work and become fruitful members of society.  It is long-term thinking.

Obesity and diet-related diseases continue to soar.  The Cookshop program hopes to ameliorate the situation.

After I attended the CookShop training a huge locker of supplies arrived.  They provided us with sundry kitchen items, from a can opener, knives and bowls to disposable items like plastic forks and cups.  Every three weeks we get a food delivery containing the ingredients for our Cookshop Chef Lessons.  It is very exciting!

Our latest recipe was Broccoli and Cauliflower Confetti Salad made with cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, salt, honey, deli mustard and olive oil.

We teach the children how to safely use a knife to "saw" vegetables and fruits

I think the folks at the Food Bank would have been proud when it came time for "1, 2, 3, taste".  One little girl shared, "I thought it was going to be disgusting but it is delicious!"

And it was, it really was.

Go figure!

(Although I think I would still prefer a mid-afternoon cake pop.)


Steve Reed said...

It's great that you're introducing kids to healthy, fresh eating. I think a lot of kids have parents who either don't like vegetables or don't know how to cook them (i.e. they boil them until they're brown), so this will go a long way to helping kids to like healthy foods.

Gary said...

The Food Bank has wonderful programs, in addition to Cookshop Classrooms there are workshops for families and teens. During the training prior to starting this in my classroom I grew steadily impressed with the depth of the education in nutrition, healthy food choices and emphasis on physical activity (exercise). The curriculum has it all. It is fun and delicious.

Dumdad said...

CookShop - what an excellent idea. I never liked vegetables as a kid because British cooking always boiled out all the taste. Now I love veg - thanks to tasty French preparation.

Gary said...

I had the same experience with vegetables from cans. Fresh or frozen vegetables are so much better than canned vegetables. And boiling does nothing to enhance the taste or texture.

I am jealous of the French preparation.

BTW - I am planning a trip to Paris and Grasse this summer. Any tips on where to stay? I am looking to rent an apartment in Paris for a week. Thanks.


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