We’ve just completed the first session of Food Explorers! Food Explorers is a six-week after-school program aimed at sparking children’s interest in the fascinating, and ever evolving, world of food. The goal of Food Explorers is to help children examine their own food choices and enable them to make smart decisions on how and what they eat. Food Explorers was run out of the Bellemeade Community Center with twelve 4th and 5th grade students from the neighboring Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School. Each session started with a group discussion and activity where students investigated topics such as where food comes from, food marketing to children, sugar-sweetened beverages, portion distortion, and highly-processed foods. The rest of the session was devoted to having a culinary adventure—cooking up healthy snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Students created and ate, homemade hummus and veggie wraps featuring fresh greens from our good friends at Shalom Farms, fruit and veggie smoothies, kale and spinach muffins, veggie packed omelets, and sweet potato chili. The program culminated with a celebration dinner, where students cooked a meal and then enjoyed it with friends and family while discussing and reflecting on what they’d learned during the course.

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