Hello all ;) I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Our family certainly did ;) I was able to enjoy a couple of days of rest and relaxation after a super busy week. Why was I so busy last week? Well....I am about to tell y'all....
Back in April of this year, I was contacted by my city's local Parks and Recreation Department. They wanted to know if I would be able to come in for a few hours a week in July to teach the kids in their summer camp program how to make simple, healthy, and delicious meals. I was so honored by this request that I immediately told them yes.
Preparing for this class was a big challenge. The Parks and Recreation center did not have the culinary capabilities as some facilities around the area. Meaning, there would be no stove/oven for me to cook on. Not only this, the program's budget was very low, which meant the amount of supplies and food would be limited. They also had certain safety rules in terms of what the children could and could not do when it came to cooking...simply meaning they would not be able to work with knives of any sort or anything that was a possible safety hazard.
Needless to say, I had to put my "creative" thinking cap on in order to make this class work. I spent hours and hours at night trying to think of a way to teach these children how to make simple and healthy meals....but at the same time, how to do it without breaking the program's rules or budget. After days of brainstorming and a few face to face meetings with the Rec Specialist, a plan finally started to take shape and unfold. Nothing was going to stop us from teaching these children how to make meals on their own...and we were all determined to make it happened. And...to make a long story short...we did!
I taught them how to make these simple and easy Yogurt Parfaits. We discussed the healthy benefits of eating strawberries and low fat yogurt after they were finished making them.
Even though their version did not look like the one in the picture, it was a success! All but 2 children loved them...and one girl even went home that evening and asked her mother to purchase ingredients for these parfaits so she can make them for her family :)
I taught them how to make simple fruit pizzas. Before they started making theirs, we discussed the healthy benefits of bananas and kiwis.
These were by far the biggest hit of the week with them! I made 9 pizza crusts at home, bought them to the class, had them pile up the fixins...and after everything was said and done...all 9 pizza pans looked like this.....
.....some of the kids even wanted to take the left overs home to show their parents what they made :) So yes...Day 2=success!
I taught them how to make Chicken & Mozzarella Pita Pockets on Whole Wheat Pitas. Before they started making theirs, we discussed the healthy benefits of chicken (when baked and grilled), vegetables such as lettuce, and why eating whole wheat is good for you.
I think the below picture says it all ;)
All in all, I think it's safe to say that myself, as well as the staff of the Parks and Rec Department were VERY pleased with the outcome of this class. We are so pleased with it in fact, that they asked me to come in on a monthly basis to teach the children in their after school program...they will fit the bill for everything...I will just need to teach ;) I am so giddy just thinking about all the fun and creative things I can teach these children during the holidays! I'm so excited y'all and cannot wait to get started.
And to celebrate this good news, I wanted to share the most popular recipe that everyone made this week (even the staff members loved it) with y'all........
Fruit Pizza Delight
(makes one pizza pan)
1 roll of pre-made sugar cookie dough
1/2 cup to 1 cup of sliced strawberries
1/2 cup to 1 cup of sliced kiwi
1/2 cup to 1 cup of sliced bananas
1/2 cup of low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt
1. Roll the sugar cookie dough onto and ungreased pizza pan. Make sure the whole pan is covered.
2. Bake the dough according to packaged directions. Let cool.
3. Once cooled, spread the 1/2 cup of yogurt on the top.
4. Top pizza with fruit slices. Cut and serve.
**Recipe Tip: You can use other fruit as toppings other then what is listed. Blueberries, raspberries, and sliced cantaloupe would be other good options.**