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Food Literacy Fun & Folly

Our curriculum “My Peanut Butter Sandwich Can Save the World” officially ended a month ago with a hands-on test in which the kids chose what foods to put on their plates. Because the kids have been enjoying our program so much, the school invited us to stay on until the end of the school year!

We are happy to welcome new volunteer teachers who are invaluable to our program. Our organization has been greatly enriched with their knowledge on nutrition and health, as well as their unbridled enthusiasm for teaching kids. Sarah Langford earned her Master’s in Nutrition Education and Health Promotion from Florida State University, and Taylor Jaspar, Ashley Sarris and Kirit Bains are undergraduate students in dietetics at California State University in Sacramento. Each week, Sarah has helped us create and lead lessons, and Taylor, Ashley and Kirit have lent their support in getting activities ready. The kids certainly enjoy having them around!

The past six weeks have been filled with fun activities that reiterated nutritional facts and also introduced new lessons in seed identification, organic farming, and the importance of bees. We gave them lettuce seeds to plant at home and helped them learn how to identify different seeds. The kids particularly enjoyed making their own guacamole by following a simple recipe. For some of them, it was their first time tasting avocados and guacamole, and they certainly had fun creating their own snack!

We also had a special guest, Kate McEachen, who is a backyard beekeeper. The kids were fascinated with her beekeeping suit, smoker and beeswax, and even more intrigued with the fun facts she presented about bees. The boys asked if there was a king bee and were quite disappointed to hear that the queen bee is the one in charge (whereby the girls cheered!). At the beginning of the lesson, most of the kids expressed fear at being stung by bees but Kate convinced them that they will only get stung if they swat at the bees “like a giant ninja!” They had a good giggle at that!

As our semester with the kids comes to a close, we would like to especially thank everyone at Capitol Heights Academy who welcomed us with open arms! In particular, Emilie Beecroft and Rebecca Aldrich, who help us coordinate the activities and lessons, and the teachers who help us manage the kids when they get a little too enthusiastic! You are all food literacy superheroes!

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