Healthy Eating Beyond the Classroom
I know the focus of FoodPrints is to reach the kids, to provide them with positive, hands-on experiences preparing and enjoying healthy foods so they are more likely to choose them in the future. By extension, our hope as a program is to also reach families -- parents, siblings, grandparents -- which we do when they come to volunteer during our in-school field trips, and also by providing them with the recipes we send home after each FoodPrints class. What I hadn't given much thought to when I started my work with FoodPrints a handful of years ago was how our classes also positively impact the classroom teachers, administrators, and the overall school culture.
I've been delighted as the number of times over the past two years teachers at Tyler have chased me down to tell me how they wowed their friends with FoodPrints recipes for homemade pesto or apple beet salad at a potluck or dinner party. My wonderful interns have also admitted to excitedly shaking up some homemade butter as well as preparing other FoodPrints soups, salads, stews, stir fries, and more with boyfriends and family members at home after tasting them in class. Some of these recipes have even made it into holiday meals.
Meanwhile, cafeteria staff and administrators in our schools' main offices enjoy sampling FoodPrints goodies as well, often asking students for the recipes. How proud those students are to offer the staff some of the delicious food they helped to prepare during one of our classes. Smiles from ear to ear. You can bet the kids are more likely to make and eat these foods again after such positive reinforcement.
So, many thanks to you -- teachers, staff, administrators, interns, and families -- for embracing the FoodPrints program at our schools, and for your willingness to try (and ask for seconds of) the seasonal foods we're making with students. Together, we're slowly but surely changing attitudes towards healthy foods for the better... and enjoying the flavors along the way!