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Slicing oranges

Food Adventurer Challenge
"Chopped"-style challenge with our students

I was lucky enough to teach a group of kindergarten students at John Cabrillo Elementary this semester, and was so excited to see how far they’d come by the end of our 14 weeks together. - Honeydew Hannah

February 1, 2019
By Honeydew Hannah, Food Genius and AmeriCorps Member

14 Weeks of Food Literacy Classes

Trying lemons

This semester, our team of Food Geniuses delivered food literacy education to eight elementary schools across South Sacramento. Our program consists of 14 weeks in the classroom with the kids, where we start off with basic knife skills and work our way up to more complex recipes like veggie spring rolls and rainbow soup - and teach them how their food affects their bodies, their communities, and the planet along the way!

As our 14-week curriculum came to a close in those eight schools last week, our students had the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills in their very own cooking competition: the Food Adventurer Challenge.

Food Adventurer Challenge

In this “Chopped”-style challenge, the kids got into teams and competed to see who could create the best dish. They excitedly chose team names, and worked together to carefully craft the best recipes. Each team could choose five fruits or veggies from our ingredient table to build a salad, as well as a few different ingredients to make a dressing. Making salad

Our Food Adventurers were judged not only on the taste of their dishes, but also on presentation and creativity – encouraging them to draw on the variety of skills and techniques they’ve learned throughout the semester. They had a set amount of time to complete the challenge, and once the timer went off, the teams had to stop what they were doing and deliver their plated dishes to the judges: their awesome after school teachers!

Team “Fruity Pies”

I was lucky enough to teach a group of kindergarten students at John Cabrillo Elementary this semester, and was so excited to see how far they’d come by the end of our 14 weeks together. Many students who started off too afraid to try any of the new fruits or vegetables we brought into the classroom were eager to create their own masterpiece when it came time for the Food Adventurer Challenge.

Finished salads

They came up with the team name “Fruity Pies,” and put their newfound food literacy skills to work to create a salad that they – and the judges – really enjoyed! Their dish made use of both fruits and vegetables, combining more traditional salad ingredients like chopped lettuce and shredded carrots with diced apples and orange slices, all topped with sunflower seeds and a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. It was delicious!

The Fruity Pies won first place in their Food Adventurer Challenge, and the kids were all overjoyed by their achievement. Seeing these young Food Adventurers’ excitement and pride in creating a veggie-focused recipe of their own reminded me just how important and and impactful our program is. I was a proud Food Genius!

Our Impact

Not only did the kids have a blast creating their own recipes, but the Food Adventurer Challenge gave our students the opportunity to show how much they’ve truly learned throughout our semester together.

For many students, this semester was their first experience cooking at all, let alone trying new fruits and veggies every week! Seeing the kids grow throughout the course of our program to become full-fledged Food Adventurers with a brand new attitude towards eating fruits and veggies has been incredibly inspiring.

Hooray for the Food Adventurer Challenge for giving our talented and adventurous kids the opportunity to shine!

Honeydew Hannah

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