Ms. Jayram’s Wellness class explored nutrition, sustainability and physical wellness during their most recent cooking unit! This central question of this unit was “how can we eat healthy, while still helping to take care of the earth and protect animals.”
The second graders worked on answering this question while working hands on with food. They learned many cooking skills such as chopping, tossing, peeling, washing fruits and vegetables, blending, and measuring. Throughout the seven-week the unit they used these skills to invent their own healthy sodas, make fruit kabobs, blend smoothies, chop and toss salads.
While many of our students have some cooking experience at home or in Ms. Tita’s after-school cooking class, Ms. Jayaram’s style of cooking was new for nearly everyone involved. Ms. Jayaram, an animal rights’ advocate, taught her students about vegan cooking and meatless alternatives. While they’re familiar with tofu and tempeh from Meatless Mondays at AGC and our daily meatless option, meatless turkey sandwiches were a new and exciting adventure.
Ms. Jayaram’s cooking unit with K-2nd graders took them from basic food preparation, healthy ingredients, their origins and how their flavors combined (through taste testing, of course) to sustainable cooking essentials, developing recipes and preparing meals using environmentally friendly ingredients that they then shared with their families during an exhibition.
At their culminating event “AGC Kids Café,” the children made foods for their families. They had five different stations where they were making food: tofurky sandwiches (a vegan, cholesterol free alternative to meat), salad, salad dressing, fruit kabob, and smoothie stations.
Families watched as the children made food and then sampled the children’s creations.
The children also made health goals, so that they could continue to focus on their health after the unit. They invited their families to make health goals too.
Some of the health goals they made were to eat more veggies, eat more vegetarian food, stop eating junk food, and to eat less sugar.
Many AGC families said that the AGC Kids Café event inspired them to start eating healthier and they enjoyed trying new foods. They also said they wanted to start cooking more with their children.