Monday, August 21, 2017

Recipes & Recap from Healthy Summer Harvest!

by Hannah Macfarlane, Farm to School Summer Intern & Tufts Nutrition Graduate Student

This summer, for the fourth year in a row, the SomervilleFarm to School Project ran the Healthy Summer Harvest program at the Capuano school. Every Wednesday for four weeks we visited the school for cooking classes and taste tests with students in the Summer Explore Kindergarten Transition Program. We tried lots of new food and had so much fun with our new friends!

Chef Vanessa from Project Bread led the cooking demonstrations and Hannah, our Farm to School summer intern, chatted with the kids about the foods they were tasting. She was very impressed that some of them already knew that calcium is found in milk! Students were encouraged to try new foods and learned about plants, cooking, and nutrition.

Each week featured a different recipe:

Week 1 – Gingerbread yogurt dip with strawberries and apple slices

Week 4 – Orange bean dip with cucumber slices


The smoothie was definitely the favorite, but many of the kids ended up liking foods they hadn’t tried or had tried and disliked in the past. One class was particularly enthusiastic about the “Green Monstah” Smoothie. Nearly everyone wanted seconds, and we sadly didn’t have enough for more than one serving per student. After a few minutes of unsuccessfully begging for more, the entire class started chanting “Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!” One of their teachers finally got them to stop, only to hear them start a new chant moments later – “Spinach! Spinach! Spinach!” We never expected to hear twenty almost-kindergarteners chanting for more spinach, but we call that a win.

green smoothie spinach
 In addition to the weekly taste tests, we also provided a Healthy Summer Harvest curriculum to inspire teachers to bring Farm to School education into their classrooms. Each lesson focused on a different aspect of plants – seeds, plant parts, elements needed for growth, and the plant life cycle.

seed matching game

Hannah observed one of classes doing the “Fab Five” activity in week 3, during which students made bracelets representing each of the components necessary to grow a plant – a seed, plus water, sun, air, space, and soil (the “Fab Five”). The kids did a great job listening to their teacher and answering the riddles! When they finished, they each had a fun and colorful bracelet to help them remember their lesson. The bracelets were a perfect complement to the bean baby necklaces from Week 2, which the kids were still wearing and keeping warm and well-loved.

seeds needs bracelet

All in all, it has been a fun and busy summer for us here at Somerville Farm to School! We loved spending time with our new friends at the Capuano school, and we’re already thinking about what we can do to make the program even better next year! For more photos and recipes, keep your eyes on the blog and be sure to follow us on Instagram @SvilleFood4Kids.

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