March 2011

Last Monday Kim Szeto, the Farm to School coordinator, and I had the pleasure of visiting Kids Can Cook with Ayla Gavins, principal of Mission Hill K-8, and eight of her students. Kids Can Cook is an organization with a mission to teach children life skills through cooking and nutrition. Each group of students attends 6 – 9 classes at the main Kids Can Cook kitchen on Albany Street.

In each class, students learn proper technique and the basics of cooking while preparing a full, wholesome meal. In the class we attended, students created a tasty, fresh salsa, guacamole, and chicken quesadillas. Kids Can Cook makes sure that the meals they prepare with students are both appealing and healthy. At the end of each class, the students pack up the meal to take home and share with their family. This encourages students to share what they’ve learned and to spend more quality time with their families.

Check out more about this amazing organization!


One question in the 30-second cafeteria surveys asked, “What would get you in the lunch line?” Here is a word cloud made from the over 500 responses received.  As you can see, perennial preferences like pizza and fries were some of the most frequent responses. On the other hand, it is great to see students requesting so many fruits, vegetables and other healthy options.

Getting children involved in the kitchen is a great way to get them to try those veggies they just refuse to eat. Few kids will snub their noses at foods of their own creation. ChopChop provides simple, easy to read recipes and articles about food and nutrition. Here is their mission statement:

…to educate kids to cook and be nutritionally literate, empower them to actively participate as health partners with their families, and help establish and support better eating habits for a lifetime of good nutrition. ChopChop is published by ChopChopKids, Inc., a nonprofit corporation.

Check out their website and get your children into the kitchen today!

Check out this great video by Jamie Oliver at TED Talks. Jamie presents some great information about problems in the American diet and the need for food education in our schools:

National School Breakfast Week 2011 begins today! This year’s theme – School Breakfast Detectives – encourages students to “clue into” the benefits of school breakfast. Check out more information