Growing Taste Buds: Happy Kids, Healthy Choices

Getting kids to eat vegetables–let alone a complete, balanced diet can seem like an impossible task at times. Kids are picky.  It’s something we hear all the time when dealing with children’s food education.

To that I say, kids are also fearless explorers and love to get their hands dirty!

Teaching your kids about food–where it comes from, how its grown and the different flavours they can create and experience–has enormous impact on their eating habits and lifelong health.
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Photo by: Mike Derblich

Whether it means your son will be able to impress his date with home-made puttanesca in 20 years or your daughter falls in love with growing heirloom tomatoes at home; a good food education leads to healthier kids making smarter choices. It’s not so easy in today’s busy world to take the time to teach kids this stuff though.  With less and less time being spent around the table, it may even seem futile.
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Photos: Yuliya Tsoy

Enter the ‘Growing Taste Buds’ program at the Evergreen Brick Works.  Growing Taste Buds is a program devoted to getting kids more involved with their food.  Through a series of hands-on cooking workshops, children aged 8–12 have the chance to experiment in the kitchen, learn to cook and find out about the importance of making good food choices—all while having fun!
“Giving kids the space and opportunity to cook, to be involved in the process, to be allowed to make mistakes and to try new foods again and again allows them to grow their taste buds. In this environment, the ideas kids come up with are often healthier than adults would expect!” said Kate Leinweber, RHN and Growing Taste Buds Facilitator.
Kate’s right!  The program has kids willingly slurping oysters, crunching salads and even eating edibles they foraged themselves–with expert supervision, of course. Classes run alongside the weekly farmers market from 11am until 1pm weekly, culminating is a last day celebration where young ‘uns cook a dish together that will be offered at their very own booth at the Farmers’ Market. Sound too good to be true? Registration for the spring session has arrived! Get all the delicious details below and register your kids today.

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Below is a peak at the Spring 2013 Schedule:

March 30: Getting to Know Your Kitchen Learn how to set up your personal working area in the kitchen (mise en place), including rules and procedures regarding safety, working environment and cleaning. April 6: Edible Weeds Guest: Lee Earl, Evergreen Outdoor Educator Children will learn to forage for food in their own backyard with tips on where to find, identify and cook these found foods. A glimpse into our hunter-gatherer selves, foraging attunes our body to the natural cycles and connects us to the environment around us. April 13: No classes  April 20: Earth Day Celebration Guest: Steve Schaefer, Worm Expert Children will learn the benefits of recycling, composting and vermicomposting, organic produce and naturally raised meats,while cooking-up a feast to celebrate the earth! April 27: Grow Your Own Food! Guest: Karen Campbell, Everdale Farm Spend the morning with farmer Karen Campbell learning about organic growing and farming. Children will prepare a meal made with ingredients from the Everdale Farm, while learning to plant and care for an heirloom vegetable plant they get to take home. May 4: Slam Dunk Raw veggies are a healthy, fun snack, and dunking them in delicious homemade dips is even better! Learn how to make hummus, tzatziki, mayonnaise, ketchup, guacamole and edamame from scratch! May 11: But I’m a Foodie! Guest: Albert Ponzo, Le Sèlect Bistro Children love to eat, so why do we narrow their growing taste buds? In this class, children will have fun cooking with Chef Albert Ponzo as they plan and execute their own ultimate menu. May 18: No class due to Victoria Day holiday May 25: Visiting the Farmers’ Market Children will take a stroll through our Farmers’ Market, with a focus on getting to know the farmers, what they grow, how they grow it and what is in season. After, it’s back to the kitchen to create a delicious dish! June 1: Last Day Celebration Children will cook a dish together that will be offered at their very own booth at the Farmers’ Market. They will also have an opportunity to talk about what they cooked and how, while raising funds to support our Children’s Food Program bursary, helping children from underserved communities to take part in the program.

For program details, please contact Marina Queirolo at mqueirolo@evergreen.ca or at 416-596-1495 x231.

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