It’s Food Revolution Day tomorrow! You might remember I’ve done large in-school events to celebrate getting kids and their parents cooking in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – it’s been amazing to see the larger school community join me in standing up for real food! This year, I wanted to go a different route, though. Since Jamie Oliver’s push this year is all about getting food education onto the curriculum, I wanted to see if I couldn’t work some Food Revolution activities into my own – to make it a little more organic, less “one big one-off event” and more activities that will spark conversation at home and school about eating better and cooking. I’m lucky to have a little wiggle room in my curriculum around about now and this week I was able to insert a few lessons based on Jamie’s official Food Revolution sandwich – the Squash It Sandwich – into all my classes from Grades 3-6. Jamie’s going to be cooking this with kids all around the world this Friday online but I won’t see all my guys on Friday and wanted to see if I could make it work through the week instead… We all started out by watching the Mr Bean episode where he makes a strange sandwich on a park bench. We talked about his ingredients, the boys drew his sandwich and labelled it and the older guys talked about the odd utensils he used (scissors to cut the bread, credit card to spread the butter etc…). Then we brainstormed sandwich ingredients and the boys then drew their dream sandwich – they had to choose a spread, a meat/ cheese or fish and some vegetables (oh and yes, Nutella and jam totally made it into the “spreads” column!). Last week we started to grow the sprouts (using the #BioSnackySprouts kits generously donated by A.Vogel Canada!) and this week we got cooking with our sprouts – making Jamie’s Squash it Sandwich – as much en français as we could! I’ll let the pictures do the talking but the three classes I have taught so far this week did a wonderful job – teamwork all the way! We practised lots of knife skills… And then we got to the fun part – SQUASHING IT!!! Yes those are poor veggies and apples in those tea towels gettin’ squashed 😉 The boys (needless to say!) LOVED this part! We made the sandwiches in mini-pita breads – to just give each boy a taste of the sandwich and avoiding too much food waste. It was a PERFECT size for little hands… And look how great they came out! This week for me has proven (again) that taking part in food education doesn’t have to be about making huge changes – it’s little changes often which make the difference in the end. By making this a part of the boys’ everyday (as opposed to a one-off event – I realise I am lucky in my contact with kids to be able to make this a part of my classes), I am hoping it will spark conversations at home or even amongst each other about food and choices and cooking. And maybe make them keen to bring some of their knowledge and skills home. Over the past five and a half years of teaching kids to cook, I’ve come to realise that even though it sometimes feels like a drop in the ocean, even if I get one family cooking together at home per group of kids, that’s a success. My Petits Chefs, meanwhile, checked out some other Food Revolution recipes – Jamie’s Epic Chocolate Beetroot Cake made into cupcakes! This week was a reality check in the lab as we had an “egg incident” with the yolks falling into the whites and the spare eggs falling on the floor. Uh oh. I made the best of it but the cakes were definitely not as fluffy as they should have been – they tasted great though! That, though, is reality in the kitchen. things don’t always go to plan and I like to try to teach the boys how to recover from that and fix their mistakes if possible.. In any case, we had some GREEN SMOOTHIES to wash the cakes down and those went down a treat! The next day, bothered by the “egg incident” I gathered the ingredients for the Epic Chocolate Beet Cupcakes again and headed into Grade 3 for French. It was my birthday and as I told the boys, “Since noone bought me a cake, I’m going to make one and you’re going to help!” It’s an ongoing joke with that class – when I ask them what they are going to do on the weekend I always ask who is going to bake a treat for Mlle and they always laugh and say “Noone!”. So we made my birthday cakes. We learned that veggies taste good in cake. We learned that beets make a cake batter look like blood 😉 Conversations about food. Food Education starts here.
Let’s inspire governments to do the right thing: Sign It. Share It. Fighting for food education for every child #FoodRevolutionDay change.org/jamieoliver
Food Revolution Day is Friday May 15th – find out how you can get involved right here!