Those 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.
A.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!
The 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.
We 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!
We 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!
Meanwhile, 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…
And 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!
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!
Let’s inspire governments to do the right thing: Sign It. Share It. Let’s fight for food education for every child #FoodRevolutionDay change.org/jamieoliver