N.E.E.D inaugurated the new year by collaborating with El Encino Church to serve the community. Other organizations present were WIC (Women, Infant and Children), Healthy Smiles also donations from the community food bank and First Five were given out.
We worked with the kids. We began our program with a short ice breaker followed by a short “cooking” demonstration. At the demo we made a simple fruit parfait; the ingredients consisted of a Granny Smith apple, banana, low fat vanilla yogurt and Cheerios. I even worked food science into the demo by illustrating how to prevent oxidation of fruits by squeezing juice from an orange onto an slice of apple.
Then we encouraged the children to make their own parfait. The purpose of the demo was to get the children exposed to food, in this case it was yogurt, how to read a recipe and using tools such as measuring spoons.
Before the demo I surveyed the room, asking the kids how many has tried yogurt and only a few raised their hands. After trying it, the kids really enjoyed the yogurt and some even took the left over yogurt home! The experience proved to be meaningful and memorable for the kids and volunteers alike; we dialogue with the kids a more over eating snacking and some of the kids were really helpful with clean up too.
After the demo we went out to do a rely race. Good health also means getting up and moving. We challenged the kids to use their motor skills through activities like jump roping, hula hooping and weaving a soccer ball between cones.
The demo is not something N.E.E.D typically does, but in the future I want to invest in adding this component to the program. Kids are very receptive to food when given the chance to try it. In addition learning through seeing, doing, playing and eating is important to encouraging the kids to develop healthier eating habits throughout their life.