On an especially warm day in San Francisco, there were a group of students at Marshall Elementary who were learning the importance of healthy eating and snacking. Mission Graduates partnered with 18 Reasons, another non-profit organization in the Mission District, to come to the after school program and teach the kids fun, easy, healthy, and interactive recipes. The kids get to cook while learning the nutritional value of healthy foods in the hopes that they can create healthier habits at home.
The class started off with the kids learning about how much sugar is contained in popular drinks like soda and juices. They got to measure how much sugar is one eight ounce serving so they could see how much sugar they are actually consuming. Many of the kids were shocked at how much sugar they were putting into their bodies! 18 Reasons also makes their program educational; so while they got to see how much sugar a drink contains they were also completing simple math worksheets so that they would have a number in mind. After working for a bit, the kids were introduced to their first recipe of the day: an all-natural, homemade soda. They would get to make a pomegranate soda using fresh pomegranate juice and sparkling water.
From there, the kids moved onto the “main course” of the afternoon. The main course consisted of making fruit and cheese kabobs, cutting up fresh veggies, and making homemade hummus. Before the kids got to cooking, they first went over the food groups with the teacher and which types of food are the healthiest. They learned that fruit, veggies, grains, and poultry are essential items to a healthy and well balanced diet. Also, their teacher explained to them the importance of snacking throughout the day. Snacking is necessary because it provides the body and the mind fuel to keep running all day long. It helps you to feel refreshed and energetic!
After the short lesson, the fun really began! The kids were split up into groups and they each got to help make a certain dish. They loved getting to cook and were excited about the fact that they were actually making something they would enjoy!
After a few blender malfunctions, the kids had yummy snacks to enjoy! They were all pleasantly surprised at how good everything was and how much they liked it! Everyone hoped to be just as successful at home with their snack-making!