Here's my report from one day's work in one of our teaching gardens this week. Keep in mind that all of the youth in this particular project have an immediate family member with diabetes.
We taught a group of middle school boys how to make sun-dried tomato hummus. As part of our Cooks in the Kitchen class, we teach kids how to read food labels. I tossed each boy a can of garbanzo beans and asked them to find some things on the label. The lesson was about about dietary fiber. One boy could not figure out what the serving size was (1/2 cup). He kept saying it was one and a half cups. One thing led to another and it was apparent that he does not yet have basic math skills. At the end of this lesson, the boys were clear about the following things:
- what a serving size of cooked beans is
- what half a cup looks like
- beans have about 5-6 grams of dietary per serving
- most people need 28 or more grams of fiber a day and
- foods like hummus make a great snack
While making the sun-dried tomato hummus, then sampling it with whole wheat pita slices and celery sticks, another boy remarked to me, "Can I take home the recipe for this? I want to make it for my family. I think they will like it." I gave him the recipe and also gave him a container of the extra hummus plus a box of whole grain crackers. Can't wait to talk with him next week!
Several boys proudly said to the volunteers helping in the kitchen, "We've been watering our garden every day." It is apparent they are taking care of it now, because the seeds are growing, the cucumbers and squash plants are thriving, and it's starting to happen. It's starting. Yes. The seeds we've been planting are starting to grow.
Planting seeds is a very good thing. Some will take and some won't. Seeds need sunlight, water, and love to grow. Kids also need the right combination to grow and thrive.
Are your kids getting the nutrients they need to grow and to thrive? If not, go buy a package of seeds and plant them in a pot (the seeds, not your kids!).
Growing Healthy Kids - improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time.
To your perfect health.
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
PS - Stay tuned and I'll share the recipe with you for the sun-dried tomato hummus!