Fighting for Food Education: My Food Revolution Day 2015

Happy kids at Food Revolution Day parent child cooking class on eatlivetravelwrite.comThose smiles up there ^^^ You can’t fake that. It was a wonderful way to wrap up my Food Revolution Day Week 2015!  I hosted five classes at my school spreading the word about food education via Jamie Oliver’s awesome kid-friendly recipes, each class featuring these amazing alfalfa sprouts.

Kids growing and eating sprouts on eatlivetravelwrite.comA.Vogel Canada generously supported Food Revolution Ambassadors across Canada this Food Revolution Day by providing sprouting kits to get kids growing their food and my students were fortunate enough to receive 2-3 of the sprouting jars and alfalfa seeds. They were absolutely entranced with their progress over the week leading up to Food Revolution Day and when they were finally ready to eat, many of the boys snacked on them just like they would chips or candy. I let my Grade 5s taste the sprouts at the beginning of one of my French classes and they couldn’t stop eating them. I didn’t react (as in “Wow you guys are eating and liking vegetables!”) and they just kept on eating them. A whole jar, in fact!

Many boys have been keen to bring these home and care for them on the weekend and some lucky guys took sprouts home to enjoy on the long weekend 🙂 The rest of the sprouts were used in my parent-child class (see below) on Food Revolution Day itself. There’s nothing quite like growing your own food and my boys are very lucky they got the chance to do so. We’ll keep sprouting until the end of the year, too!

Last Wednesday, I headed over to the St Alban’s Boys and Girls’ Club to help fellow Ambassador Mary Hulbert with an event for the after-school programme there. Together with Ambassador Mary Catherine Anderson, we led 20+ kids through Jamie’s Squash It Sandwich recipe… Lots of fresh veggies – we talked about and tasted them!

Prepping Jamie Oliver Squash It Sandwich ingredients at St Albans Boys and Girls Club on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe chopped…

Kids chopping veggies for Jamie Oliver sandwiches at St Albans Boys and Girls Club on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd squashed…

Squashing veggies at St Albans Boys and Girls Club on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd made a gorgeous filling for our Squash It Sandwiches…

Squash it sandwich filling at St Albans Boys and Girls Club on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe kids at St Albans will be working with Mary in weeks to come sprouting their alfalfa sprouts and learning about growing their own food! From the smiles and choruses of “YUM”, I’d say those kids had a lot of fun and learned a little something about what makes a great sandwich!

On Food Revolution Day itself, Mary Catherine, Linda Matarasso and I headed up to Northview Heights Secondary School where Ambassador Susan Ng led some 1200 students spread all across the school in making Jamie’s Squash it Sandwich.  Northview has an amazing culinary arts program led by the dynamic Dimitra Konstantakou so it was a great place for us to be immersed in food education on Food Revolution Day itself.

Food Revolution day 2015 at Northview Heights on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe were there for just over an hour, and during that time, we were fortunate enough to be one of the locations selected to cross to Jamie in London on his Food Tube live show. Unfortunately, technology not being as cooperative as it might have been, our moment in the spotlight was fleeting and our sound didn’t work but Jamie saw us (and a whole cafeteria full of kids making the sandwich) and gave us a brief wave! Overall, a great event getting so many kids (including Grade 3 students from Wilmington Elementary School visiting for the morning) making and talking about food. I mean, that’s what it’s all about, right?  Read Susan’s account of the day on her site here.

Mary Catherine and I headed back to my own school who were generously offering me my very own science lab in which to hold our parent-child cooking class* on the evening of Food Revolution Day.  We headed out to Sobeys (who were sponsoring the event by supplying the groceries and goodie bags filled with Jamie Oliver cookbooks, cooking utensils, aprons for the kids and gift cards) to shop for our supplies and came back to package up our goodies. Sticker You gave us a nice deal on stickers and temporary tattoos so those went in the bags too!

Sobeys and Sticker You goody bags for Food Revolution Day on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe were making a tomato soup, the Squash It Sandwiches and four different smoothies with our class – easy enough recipes to be “do-able” in the 2 hours, but complex enough for kids to really understand that they CAN cook real (tasty) food!

Food Revolution Day recipes for Mardi Michels and Mary Catherine Anderson parent-child class on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt was a fast two hours where we chopped….

Kids chopping vegetables for Food Revolution Day on Parent child cooking class for Food Revoluton Day 2015 on Kids prepping Jamie Oliver Squash It Sandwiches on Kids chopping vegetables for Jamie Oliver Squash It Sandwich on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe SQUASHED IT!

Kids squashing vegetables for Jamie Oliver Squash It Sandwiches on Food Revolution Day 2015 on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe assembled lots of tasty sandwiches….

Kids prepping their Jamie Oliver Squash it Sandwiches at Mardi Michels and mary Catherine Anderson cooking class on Kids assembling and eating Jamie Oliver Squash It Sandwiches on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd some of us tasted homemade tomato soup for the first time. And loved it!

Enjoying Jamie Oliver's soup on Food Revolution Day on eatlivetravelwrite.comMeanwhile, Mary Catherine was working wonders over at the KitchenAid Canada smoothie station… (they generously donated three demo blenders for our event and one to give away!).

The kids LOVED drinking their fruits and veggies…

Making Jamie Oliver Super Smoothies on Food Revolution Day on Making Jamie Oliver smoothies for Food Revolution Day on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd at the end of the night with full tummies, smiley but messy faces (some of us were wearing our smoothies!) Nancy and Ryan were randomly chosen as the winners of the blender!

Food Revoluton Day KitchenAid Canada winners on eatlivetravelwrite.comI predict a lot of super smoothies in their future!

A whirlwind of a week, to be sure but one thing is for certain – all those kids involved in all those activities had a great time and learned how to make a sandwich. Put like that it doesn’t sound huge but that one day might have a huge impact on some little lives. Teaching a child “Yes, you can” is so empowering and might just be the impetus for those kids to try cooking (even just a simple sandwich) at home with their parents. The Revolution starts at home.

*We’re grateful to Royal St George’s College, Sobeys and KitchenAid Canada who made this event possible and Sticker You and Chefworks Canada who provided discounts and deals on their products so we could spread the word via stickers, tattoos and aprons!


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3 thoughts on “Fighting for Food Education: My Food Revolution Day 2015”

  1. Great post Mardi and do you know what made it all that more special??

    Getting to see all those happy smiling faces in addition to the usual little hands busy chop chop chopping and stir stir stirring 🙂

    Well done on an event filled day and night.


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