Some of Lettuce Link's interns and volunteers will be guest blogging for us over the next few months. Today, we welcome the words of Molly Bell, a UW student and Lettuce Link spring intern.
There’s something about cooking fresh food that gets every sense tingling. Recently the second graders of Concord International Elementary had the chance to experience this sensory adventure, watching vegetables grown at the farm transform into a delicious snack.
In Lettuce Link’s children’s garden and nutrition classes, we try to connect the dots between how food is grown, prepared and cooked. Plus, it’s fun. If food doesn’t excite a kid, I don’t know what will!
So, with great excitement and a little team effort, the second graders harvested chives and other herbs. The students then helped clean, cut, prepare, and mix all the ingredients necessary for herbed-tofu tacos.
While preparing snack, we all had a chance to talk and share stories. There was a unanimous love for cooking among my group. I noticed pride and a sense of accomplishment that the students had when talking about cooking. A few bragged that they had made dinner or even made cupcakes by themselves.
It’s a good reminder that something when you’re eight (or eighty), something as simple as cooking a meal can be such a triumph!
At the end of class, all the students had a chance to rate the tofu tacos on a scale: happy, neutral, or sad face. I was pleasantly surprised how many of them liked it, since tofu was a new food for many of the students.
The ratings also included a few neutral faces and a few sad faces as well. But that’s okay – as we tell the students, everyone has different tastes. It’s good that the students were willing to express their own opinions, given that kids are often swayed by their peers when deciding what they like or don’t like.
It can be challenging to get kids to make their own decisions and also try new foods. But when they’re involved in harvesting and preparing it, they develop a certain connection and pride.
Plus, the diversity of food grown at Marra Farm makes it easy and fun to try new things. I’m excited to keep cooking with the students this spring!