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The Future is Bright

May 5, 2009
Your Future

Your Future

One of the best parts of my job has to be when I get to work with children. The Xtreme Cuisine program is an amazing opportunity for kids of all ages to learn not just about Florida agriculture, but how to make their own healthy snacks. I have found that when children can directly participate in the preparation of recipes, they have no problem enjoying healthy foods.

It is an important life skill that everyone needs to know. Food plays an enormous role in our lives, throughout our life cycle we make food choices that directly affect our health. With so much over processed food being marketed, it is entirely necessary to educate everyone about healthy eating.

In the two hour class we make four recipes that are simple, fresh, fun and healthy. We usually start with making our own fresh juice from carrots, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew and cucumber. Then we make a chicken and yogurt salad that get served inside hollowed out cucumber cups. After that we move on to fresh fruit smoothies made with vanilla yogurt, natural sugar and low fat milk. The children get to decide what fruit and flavor combination they want in their smoothies. Lastly we all make a fresh sweet corn relish that includes tomatoes, onions, lime and cilantro.

After each recipe the children get to play educational games and activities that teach them about the different areas of Florida that are growing or harvesting food and what time of year they are available. All in all it is a unique experience that I wish I could share with every child in Florida. Here are some of the pictures of the class to prove that fruits and veggies are fun!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicole permalink
    May 5, 2009 3:51 pm

    That is so neat- it really looks like the kids are having a ball! Great to start them young with eating right.

  2. bookishpenguin permalink
    May 5, 2009 3:51 pm

    What a great idea. I never helped cook or prepare meals when I was little (I barely had to set the table) and I definitely think this hindered my love for healthy foods AND, more so, my enjoyment of cooking. This is definitely something all schools should institute and all parents should participate in.

    • May 5, 2009 4:14 pm

      I completely agree. I remember WANTING to cook and make my own snacks when I was a child but I had no idea how to so I usually ate junk food. I’ve seen kids at these demos and they love it! It would be great if schools could permanently add a cooking and nutrition class to their curriculums.

  3. Terrie permalink
    May 6, 2009 1:06 pm

    As the mother of a son my favorite part of this is seeing the boys involved and looking so excited about it.

  4. Dirty Ape permalink
    May 11, 2009 2:47 pm

    Where are the girls? Only one identified in the photos. When I was a kid in 4-H, cooking was for girls and there were more of them than boys in the club which was a definite advantage at 4-H camp.

    Of course that also meant that as a nine year old in a serious four day Camp Cloverleaf relationship with the beautiful Debbie (who was ten!) broke your heart on the final night when she danced a slow dance with some dork and sent you back to the cabin sobbing in your Planet of the Apes sheet set.

    Then again, in later years cooking was a way to impress the girls at college who, it turned out, couldn’t cook thier way out of a to go box.

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