Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kids in the Kitchen

This weekend, I participated in the third session of the Junior League's East Boston Kids in the Kitchen project!

As stated on the Junior League of Boston's website:

"KiDS in the KiTcHeN uses a physical wellness curriculum developed in consultation with adolescent nutrition, education, and physical fitness experts. KiDS in the KiTcHeN volunteers are trained to provide the curriculum without judgment in a manner that supports girls’ self-esteem and pride in their diverse cultural backgrounds."

The program runs for 8 sessions and each session has a theme. Earlier in the month, my partner and I ran a session that we had created with the theme "Be Active!" We talked to the girls about being active and discussed their favorite activities. We had a Zumba instructor work with the girls and then did different stations like soccer, hula hooping, stretching, and jumping rope. The girls then headed to the kitchen to make lunch. The girls all had a blast, and it was nice to see the months of planning and writing pay off!

With my planning portion done, I just volunteered at the last session on "trying new things." One of the most memorable parts of the session was a taste test where the girls tried beets, edamame, hummus, avocado, dates, and pomegranate seeds. It was surprising to see their thoughts!

The verdict? Beets- thumbs down (though some liked them!), Edamame- mostly thumbs down, Hummus-Big thumbs up!, Avocado- all thumbs down!, Dates- a split decision, some liked them, some didn't. and Pomegranate seeds- all thumbs up! in fact, the salad the girls made for lunch originally called for beets, but they decided to use pomegranate seeds instead, and boy was that yummy!

Four yoga instructors came in to do yoga with the girls. It was impressive seeing how adventurous the girls were! They also had great balance! One girl in particular mastered tree right away, with no problem!

Next up was lunch. We had a station for sweet potato fries, a beet pomegranate seed and goat cheese salad, and a quinoa salad. I did the quinoa salad, and it was so easy and delicious. I encourage you to try it at home!

Quinoa Salad- Serves 4

•2 cups chicken stock
•1 cup quinoa
•1 cup edamame, steamed
•¾ cup raisins
•½ cup pine nuts

1) In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil.
2) Add the quinoa and reduce heat to low.
3) Pour in the lemon juice, add raisins and pine nuts.
4) Cover with a lid and let steam for 10 minutes.
5) Add edamame and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

You could easily make the vegan by using vegetable stock. It was delicious, but I would love to sub almonds for the pine nuts and craisins for the raisins. Yum!

The project has been so much fun, and I can't wait until our next session!

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