Celebrating National Childhood Nutrition Day

National Childhood Nutrition Day was created by the American Culinary Federation. It’s part of the ACFEF Chef & Child Foundation and their mission is: “To educate children and families in understanding proper nutrition through community-based initiatives led by the American Culinary Federation chef members, and to be the voice of the culinary industry in its fight against childhood hunger, malnutrition and obesity.”

Childhood Nutrition Day encourages anyone to host an event in celebration of this day and share with children fun ways to eat healthy foods and talk about the benefits of healthy eating.

I partnered with Rachel Shapiro, another local Health Coach and a group I lead, the Work & Wellness Employee Network Group of Lockheed Martin, Riviera Beach which sponsored the event. We presented two fun activities at Quantum House in West Palm Beach for the kids staying at Quantum House and for kids of Lockheed Martin, Rivera Beach employees. We chose to utilize Stations 1 & 3 of the ACFEF Chef & Child Program.

When we first walking in the kitchen counter was filled with sugary sweets. We put it all to the side and got to work prepping the vegetables, dips, and fruits for this very special event!

pre event sugar bombs

Rachel led Station 1 and showed many different examples of vegetables to the kids. They had a work sheet to record the vegetable name, color, shape, taste, and texture. Veggies samples included: cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, carrots, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, green beans, raw and roasted red beets, cooked purple potatoes, celery, yellow squash, and zucchini. We covered all colors of the rainbow, then presented 2 different dips, peanut butter yogurt and curry hummus, for the kids to samples with the vegetables. The parents participated as well and they enjoyed seeing their kids evaluate the different vegetables and trying the dips. We also had star fruit, apple slices, and whole wheat melba crackers to serve with the peanut butter based dip. Lots of delicious flavors and combinations to sample!

Rachel teaching

colorful produce

farm fresh produce

The kids made super hero’s out of the veggies that we showed them in the vegetable and fun dips activity.

veggie super hero veggie super hero 2

I led Station 3 and this exercise was to discuss sugary drinks and demonstrate alternative healthy and nutritious drinks. We first reviewed that 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. We looked at sugary drink containers and multiplied the servings per container times the grams of sugar. We took the total grams of sugar and divided by 4 to determine the amount of teaspoons in the entire drink. The bottle of Coca-Cola contained 16.25 teaspoons of sugar and the Vitamin Water contained 8.13 teaspoons of sugar. To demonstrate, we asked the kids to put 16 teaspoons of sugar in a clear cup. This was an eye opener to see just how much sugar soda and sweetened water contain. This visual made a great impact on everyone!

sugary drink demo

The next activity was to make healthy smoothies with fresh ingredients. I made two different smoothies recipes from the ACFEF worksheets. They each contained yogurt, fresh fruit, and some juice, one even had roasted beets! All of the smoothies disappeared in a few minutes. We even made a kid inspired smoothie on the spot that tasted great too!

Pam teaching

Today was a great day for us as Health Coaches and for the kids and parents of Quantum House and Lockheed Martin. Everyone learned a great deal and had a lot of fun in the process!

A special Thank You to the Lockheed Martin Work & Wellness Employee Network for sponsoring this event and Urban Farmer for providing some of the fresh produce, including star fruit, sugar baby bananas, summer squash, and zucchini.

Thank You to Quantum House for allowing us to hold this special event and for actively participating!

teachers and kids

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