Family business took me away from Seattle this past weekend and kept me from getting to a farmer's market, even though it's a little early in this blog's life to deviate from my plan I am going to write this week about and experience I had volunteering.
I am currently volunteering helping to teach a kids cooking and nutrition class. The kids are great and range in age from 4 to 12 years old. They definitely, as a whole, haven't had a lot of exposure to the kinds of foods I hold dear but it is fun to help introduce them to a wider range of foods.
This week's topic was vegetables and we made pizza for a snack. The first task was pizza prep and the kids all helped roll out the dough and grate carrot and beets to put into the sauce. The best part of the experience was watching as these kids put handful upon handful of grated carrot and beet into the pizza sauce. Later, when we were all sitting around eating pizza and discussing the day some of the kids, who arrived after the pizza had been made, were shocked to find out there were more than just tomatoes in the sauce, one girl even tried to tell me she could taste the additions. I gave her a look and said, "you can't taste them", and she admitted that, no, she couldn't and the pizza was good.
During our veggie taste test another kid amazed me with her willingness to taste and her positive reaction to every vegetable offered. We gave them carrots, red peppers, jicama, fennel, and raw beets. She even asked if she could take some extra beets home and proceeded to eat on like an apple while she was walking out the door. I love adventurous eaters!
Working with kids can be an overwhelming and exhausting experience but every now and again they do something that makes you believe in the work you are doing. It was a good week.