Time is moving so swiftly these days, that I can hardly believe a 6-week pilot program ended as quickly as it started. Over the course of 6 weeks, for a total of 12 sessions, I met with students at Germantown High Schools’ Hi-Step Program for an After School Program dubbed, FreeStyle Food, funded by EducationWorks and designed, implement and facilitated by me, with the help of other amazing community organizations, such as Greensgrow Farmers and Germantown Farmer’s Market.
Students in the program not only learned about the benefits of plant-based healing foods, but how to prepare it themselves. The program included a trip to the Farmer’s Market, consumer science information and mindfulness in the preparation process. Here’s a sneak peak at some specifics that they learned:
• How to chop vegetables and fruits, peel, squeeze and mash
• How to move safely in the cooking space and practice good hygiene habits
• How to pop popcorn the old-fashioned way, without the microwave and artificial additives.
• How simple it is to make homemade lemonade with simple syrup made with raw cane sugar.
• How to make spring rolls without frying them.
• How to prepare whole grain healing burritos made with brown rice and adzuki beans and without the added fat from cheese.
• That pumpkins are not only for carving, as we incorporated it into our whole grain pumpkin crumb bread
• That herbal teas can taste better than soda or a fruit drink and much better during the colder months
• How to make a vegetable soup that is much healthier, more cost-effective and can even taste better than store bought canned varieties
• That fresh juice is full of enzymes they need for good digestion and elimination
• That raw vegetables prepared right can not only look appealing, but that they can taste good too
• What grows during the Fall and Winter months and what sustainability is
• Where to shop locally for affordable, quality foods
• How its possible to create a meal for under $5 that will have a greater impact financially and health wise
• What adzuki and mung beans are and why they are considered healing beans
• What antioxidants are and why we need them
• To identify herbs and spices and their benefits
• How to make hot cocoa without processed alkali cocoa powder and why it matters
For an hour a day for 12 days, we covered a bit of ground and the final test was a Culminating Activity at the Rotunda, where selected students demonstrated their skills. They prepared all live dips (spinach, carrot and tomatillo salsa) for the event, accompanied by whole grain breads. And they passed!
For more about EducationWorks, FreeStyle Food and more student showcases, visit: http://ewhistep.blogspot.com/