Fall Fun in the Classroom

Recipe for Success
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GQ2B0189.JPGBy Brenden Jackson-Healthy Eating Ambassador. As winter winds and rain unfurl across the landscape, we prepare for spring and reflect on our fall Seed-To-Plate Nutrition Education™ classes in our two Houston Showcase Schools. Rodriguez and MacGregor Elementarys are where we rollout and test new curriculum content that will be available to our Affiliate Partners next year. This year's test theme is Farmers MarKIDS, which we developed years ago as a short unit for older students and are now adapting for PreK-5th graders to enjoy over a 10-month activation.

We've just wrapped an exciting growing season as our students thrived on learning the ins-and-outs of organic gardening and healthy meal preparation all while getting ready for their first Farmer MarKIDS DAY farm stand in May. Following the growth of their food from the seed, to the plant and finally to the plate, provides a holistic connection to healthy eating habits as well as lots of hands on and experiential learning opportunities.

Hungry for knowledge, the 6,7,8,9 and 10 year old foodies planned their school gardens, sowing seeds for beans, radishes, lettuce, carrots and other seasonal favorites. As our plants began to form into tasty veggies, we took the time to enjoy raw samples (discussing the flavors and nutrients) before transforming them into delicious nutritious salads, soups and more. Many of Houston's finest chefs, including Jada Cre from Urban Chef (pictured) voluntered their time to help us teach the kids to cook up some scruptious dishes.

Never missing a chance to strengthen STEM skills, we incorporated a little financila literacy to help students learn how to measure their garden's growth and production levels in order to calculate fair prices for their labor. These future entrepreneurs have been comparing grocery store and market prices around the city to figure out just how our food systems work and how they should price their own crops.

Dropping temperatures and winter rains can make out hard to get outside, but present a perfect excuse for learning how to preserve our crops. Our Farmers MarKIDS worked on canning, pickling and fermenting their harvests all with an eye on value added goods to sell at their markets stand.

Everything they learned during the fall has helped our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ students plan their spring garden with an eye on business. January and February will find them busy preparing their garden beds and learning about how healthy soil connects to healthy bodies. They are anxious to apply their new knowledge about food production, pricing--and most importantly--taste, to their own farm stands in May. Houston may be getting colder but we are just warming up!

If you are interested in bringin our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ programs to your school, you can find more information HERE.

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